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Cincinnati Bengals and three and out possessions

We take a snap shot on how many times the Bengals offense goes three and out, and compare that to other samples.


Three and out possessions can be one of the more frustrating non-turnover results by an offense. Usually assisted by a penalty (like a hold or false start), or a play that puts an offense behind schedule (no gain runs, incomplete passes), teams usually spend less than two minutes before turning the football back the opposing team. This disrupts a team's rhythm and confidence, but potentially benefits the opposition with quality field position.

Since Andy Dalton became the starting quarterback, the Cincinnati Bengals have strung together 396 possessions in two years. Of those possessions, 25.5 percent have ended in a three-and-out (note: We're following this up with our defensive numbers later today).

2012 2011
Total Drives 195 201
Three and out possessions 48 53
Pct. of three and outs 24.6% 26.4%
Yards gained 162 94
Yards/Drive 3.38 1.77
Time/Drive 1:31 1:23

Since we have nothing to compare that against, we take a look at how division opponents did in 2012 (with the Bengals).

Bengals Steelers Ravens Browns
Total Drives 195 186 197 194
Three and out possessions 48 44 50 50
Pct. of three and outs 24.6% 23.7% 25.4% 25.8%
Yards/Drive 3.38 3.34 2.36 3.06
Time/Drive 1:31 1:41 1:23 1:23

We're still craving comparisons. The final two seasons with Carson Palmer and Bob Bratkowski.

2010 2009
Total Drives 193 182
Three and out possessions 38 50
Pct. of three and outs 19.7% 27.5%
Yards/Drive 2.95 2.58
Time/Drive 1:27 1:31

And then the best offensive seasons with the Bengals in 2005 and 2006.

2005 2006
Total Drives 179 189
Three and out possessions 34 42
Pct. of three and outs 19.0% 22.2%
Yards/Drive 3.09 2.43
Time/Drive 1:26 1:31