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Lou Anarumo earning his keep

The Bengals’ defensive coordinator had perhaps his most impressive outing yet, allowing “just” 27 points to the Ravens.

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

It’s really hard to know if any of the assistants Zac Taylor brought in actually deserve their positions.

We could start with Jim Turner, but I’m trying to avoid throwing up today.

Brian Callahan was a QB coach who ended up being the offensive coordinator. Like Taylor, it’s still not clear how talented he is.

Lou Anarumo was never really a defensive coordinator in the NFL, save a short interim stint with the Miami Dolphins. He was mostly a defensive backs coach at the pro level.

But, after adding some pieces that fit his system (even if most of those pieces are injured now), he’s beginning to get some results.

On Sunday, the Bengals made Lamar Jackson look like an average passer, as he completed just 51% of his passes, threw an interception, and had two more interceptions dropped. He was held to his second lowest passing total (180 yards) - only the Kansas Chiefs held him to fewer - and by far his lowest rushing total (3 yards) on the season. Cincinnati’s defense held the Ravens under 30 points for the first time all year.

On the season, the Bengals are giving up 25 points per game, which places them 17th in the NFL, and they are 16th in Football Outsiders’ defensive efficiency ratings. That’s improvement.

We interviewed host of the Bleav in Ravens podcast, Jack Settleman, and asked him what the Bengals did right against Baltimore.

Settleman said there’s now a clear blueprint for how to beat the Ravens, and the Bengals followed it. “Keep Lamar, don’t let him get outside. You go cover-0. You kinda man-up. Our weapons aren’t really up to par with some of the... not even the Bengals, to be honest. So when you go man-to-man and you press them, you have a really good opportunity to make Lamar throw outside the numbers and to test Myles Boykin or Willie Snead, make them get open.”

He concluded that Cincinnati’s defense understand these concepts and played as a unit in impressive fashion.

Settleman added that the Ravens have been testing out aspects of their offense in blowout games, meaning, they try new passing concepts instead of simply attempting to run out the clock. However, he remarked, the Bengals weren’t having it, and they still made Jackson struggle even after the game was out of hand.

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