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Cincinnati Bengals Lose Top Defensive-Ranking To The Pittsburgh Steelers

The Cincinnati Bengals came into Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts as the top-ranked defense, allowing only 279.6 yards/game. Mike Zimmer and the bruise-making machine of midnight terror limited Indianapolis to 273 yards of total offense, reducing Cincinnati's average to 278.5 yards/game. Obviously when one holds the top ranking and plays above said average, which is tops in the NFL, they clearly would hold onto that ranking.

Not really.

The Pittsburgh Steelers rolled into the weekend as the league's second-ranked defense, allowing 282.8 yards/game. Pittsburgh hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars, who the Bengals held to to 296 yards, barely pulling out a 17-13 win on Sunday after the Jaguars' 10-point second half came within four points as time expired. However Jacksonville only posted 209 yards of offense on Sunday, helping the Steelers claim the top ranking in the NFL with an average 270.5 yards/game.

On the other hand, defense isn't just about yards allowed, is it?

Cincinnati has forced nine turnovers, seven fumbles and two interceptions. Two of those fumbles have been returned for touchdowns and the defensive turnovers have also led to 37 points by the Bengals (23 points scored by the offense off a turnover, or roughly 17% of the team's scoring output if you factor touchdown returns by Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins).

Regardless the Bengals will hit the bye week while the Steelers head to Arizona. Cincinnati's next opponent at Paul Brown Stadium will be those same Pittsburgh Steelers on November 13.