The Cincinnati Bengals finish the 2013 regular season with the best defense in the AFC, and the third-best in the NFL. They've allowed 305.5 yards per game, which, on average, is 12 yards better than seventh-ranked Houston, who also finished second in the AFC. Cincinnati also finished with the AFC's second-best scoring defense, allowing 19.1 points/game, to the Kansas City Chiefs.
It's the first time that they'll have led the conference on defense since 1983, according to Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Bengals have held opposing offenses to under 300 yards seven times this season, including each of the past three games when they held Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Baltimore to 290 yards, 209 yards and 222 yards respectively. Cincinnati's defense also finished third in the NFL, allowing opposing offenses to convert 33 percent of their third down opportunities. When the game is played at Paul Brown Stadium this season, that conversion rate drops significantly to 23.1 percent.
It's even more amazing when you consider that Cincinnati lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins in week 9 and starting cornerback Leon Hall in week 7.