Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn had a big game against the Detroit Lions last week, throwing for 304 yards passing, four touchdowns and no interceptions. His 133.1 passer rating is a career high, second to the 104.3 he recorded against the Broncos in the third week of the 2008 season. Was Quinn's performance against the Lions a precursor towards a greater NFL career than he was on pace for? Was his performance benefited by passing against the league's worst passing defense? Or was it just a matter of fluke plays?
Regardless, don't expect the same performance against the Bengals this Sunday. In the past three games, Cincinnati's passing defense has allowed only an average 163 yards passing, a 52% completion percentage, four interceptions against two touchdowns and eight sacks (they were shutout against the Raiders).
With potential Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph, the Bengals have a good nickel corner in Trent Morgan, who failed to prevent the game-tying touchdown against the Raiders. Even so, Morgan has a good body of work over the course of the entire season. Rounded out with solid safety play with Chinedum Ndukwe and Chris Crocker, this secondary is a group that doesn't easily allow receivers to run free.
Aside from sacks, the Bengals passing defense has played as well in the last three games as they've played all season. Their yards allowed is down to season lows, their completion percentage allowed is down, as is first downs allowed.
|Passing Defense broken down into three segments on the season|
|First Four||Middle Three||Final Three|
With Brady expected to start, all I can say is, thank god. Derek Anderson has a career 2-2 record starting against the Bengals in his career.
His numbers aren't mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination. But in each of his four starts, Anderson was always a threat, keeping Cleveland close enough in the end that their losses were within a five points or less. This year, when the Bengals barely beat Cleveland 23-20, Anderson recorded career highs in yards passing (269), completions (26), passer rating (68.8) and yards per attempted pass (5.60).
With Quinn starting, and the Bengals secondary playing as well as they have all season, don't expect Cleveland's passing offense to do much. In fact, if I were a homer Bengals fan, I'd say that the Bengals defense will play their best game of the season. If I were a homer.