The Cincinnati Bengals defense played well against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, at home, the Queen City’s beloved team was still unable to find a victory, now starting 0-11 for the first time in franchise history.
The Bengals lost 16-10 to their northern rivals. But, we can find one positive, and that’s been the defense. Cincinnati held their opponent to under 18 points for the second straight week.
Last week, Oakland scored 17 points. Although they were able to let Josh Jacobs loose for over 100 yards, they managed to limit Derek Carr. He threw for 292 yards and had just one touchdown, also throwing an interception.
Outside of a 14-point second quarter, Oakland scored just three points. It was the second half against Pittsburgh that let fans down. Going into halftime up for the third time this year, Cincinnati allowed 13 second-half points while scoring a mere three.
Redo those quarters, and both games may’ve ended with victories for the winless Bengals.
Giving up 33 in two games is impressive in the NFL, and the Bengals have been able to do it with quality play in the secondary and up front. The team’s linebacking corp could still use some help, allowing over 120 yards on the ground in both outings.
That’ll certainly be a unit they look to improve this offseason, but as for their current roster outlook, the defense has been led by Sam Hubbard, Carlos Dunlap, and Darqueze Dennard, all of which had above-average performances in Week 12 including sacks from both Hubbard and Dunlap.
Ironically, this second straight week of quality defense has coincided with the release of linebacker Preston Brown, a player the Bengals re-signed to a three-year deal this past offseason.
That said, this is also the first time this season the Bengals have forced an interception in three straight games. Overall, their improved defensive play has been the crux of being able make the past two weeks a four-quarter game.
Moving forward, we’ll expect more from this team, especially in the middle of the field.