Question of the Day: Are the Bengals a better road team?

Of the eight division leaders in the NFL, five teams are undefeated at home (New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints). Six have a winning record (New York Giants). The Bengals improved to .500 after beating the Chicago Bears and Arizona is the only team with a losing record. In fact, if you go through Marvin Lewis' record at home during the regular season, the Bengals haven't achieved a winning percentage higher than .625 in any season. Now, I know what you're thinking; well, that's not bad. It's still a good percentage. In truth, that's only a 5-3 record. Though maybe it's not that hard to imagine; through most of Marvin Lewis' tenure, the Bengals have been a .500 team. The following is a breakdown of the Bengals record at Paul Brown stadium during Marvin Lewis' tenure.

  Home Record Winning % Division Conference NFC
2009 2-2 .500 1-0 1-2 1-0
2008 3-4-1 .438 0-3 2-4 1-0-1
2007 5-3 .625 2-1 4-2 1-1
2006 4-4 .500 2-1 3-3 1-1
2005 5-3 .500 2-1 3-3 2-0
2004 5-3 .500 1-2 3-3 2-0
2003 5-3 .500 1-2 3-3 2-0
  29-22-1 .567 9-10 19-20 8-2-1

This year the Bengals are truly .500 at home. And I'm actually not talking about their record. Against the Denver Broncos, it ended terribly. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it ended beautifully. Against the Houston Texans, the Bengals played disappointedly. Against the Bears, the Bengals played perfectly. Through four home games, there's been no middle ground. Emotions have run high, and sunk just as far. What's more amazing is how the offense plays better on the road, while the defense plays strong at home.

  Home (four games) Away (three games)
Total Offense 331.0 365.7
Rushing Offense 111.8 149.0
Passing Offense 219.2 216.7
Avg. Points Scored 23.0 23.7
Total Defense 356.5 321
Rushing Defense 74.8 105.7
Passing Defense 281.8 215.3
Avg. Points Allowed 17.5 19.3

Alternatively, the Bengals are undefeated on the road, winning in Green Bay, Baltimore and Cleveland. Why the discrepancy? Shouldn't the Bengals be a better home team? Shouldn't all teams be better at home? Carson Palmer thinks this team is better on the road.

“We’re definitely a better team on the road. We enjoy playing on the road,” he said. “I personally love playing on the road. Different stadium, different atmosphere.”

So maybe because they believe they're a better road team, the Bengals have actually made it show. At least the offense.

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