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Is the NFL's best defense in Cincinnati?

Has the Bengals defense earned the right to be called the NFL's best?

Andy Lyons

For the second time this year, the Bengals defense was dominant for the majority of four quarters of play. A week after shredding the Saints, Matt Ryan and the Falcons passing game was shut down by the Bengals secondary.

Per ESPN Stats and Info, Ryan finished 4-of-9 for 79 yards and two interceptions on throws at least 15 yards downfield, his first game with multiple interceptions on deep throws since Week 8 of last season. Ryan also was just 5-of-12 for 45 yards with an interception against at least five pass rushers Sunday (3.8 yards per attempt).

Through two games, the Bengals defense has surrendered just three points in the first half and 10 points through three quarters. They rank 3rd in the NFL in points allowed per game (13.0) and are tied for the lead in turnover differential (+5).

Needles to say, one of the best defenses in football still resides in Cincinnati, but it is the best? Danny Kelly of SB Nation makes the case while comparing it to the vaunted Seahawks defense that looked anything but this week against the Chargers.

After beating the Ravens in their place to start the season, Cincy came back this week to shut down Matt Ryan and a resurgent Falcons offense. This came a week after Atlanta looked like it could be among the class of the NFC by amassing 568 yards of total offense (448 passing) against the Saints.

Matt Ryan and the high-flying Falcons were brought back down to earth as Ryan threw 44 times, got picked off three times, and was limited to 231 yards passing. The Bengals held Ryan and the Falcons to 3-of-12 on third downs, sacked him three times, hit him nine times, and racked up 12 passes defended.

They flew around and played tough, physical football for the second week in a row.