In watching Cincinnati Bengals games over the last three seasons, it seems as if they tend to play well with a lead. When they have to come from behind, it isn’t always as great.
Furthermore, the Bengals are actually the best in the league when it comes to winning games when they score before their opponent over the last three seasons. 91% of the time, if they score first, they win the game. They have a 20-2 record when scoring first from 2021 to 2023, according to a study done by Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic.
When leading at halftime, the numbers actually even better. When the Bengals enter the break with the lead, they are 24-2 since 2021. The “killer instinct” is clearly there in this version of the Bengals.
When leading at any point, they are 18-2, which gives them a 90% win percentage.
New | The #Bengals have become the best closing team in the NFL.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) November 3, 2023
The development of the trait is a fascinating case study on the intersection of personnel, coaching and culture.
Also illustrates exactly how they win (and can be beat).
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In the Bengals’ 31-17 thrashing of the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday, Taylor’s team went out and embarrassed a strong defense.
People will say anything to detract from the #Bengals. Now the 49ers are a “bad defense”— Evan McPhillips (@emcphil) November 1, 2023
The “bad” 49ers:
-1st in PFF DEF grade
-6th in drop back EPA
-Bosa 3rd in win rate & PFF grade
-Hargrave/Armstead both top 11 in win rate
-Top 5 LB in Warner
Many aspire to be so “bad”
And the offensive line had perhaps its best game yet.
NFL coaches frequently talk about “finishing” games, and the numbers show that the Bengals do just that. While having Joe Burrow under center is the biggest reason for most of Cincinnati’s success, these numbers are a credit to all aspects of the team.
Whether that be the defense coming up with clutch stops or big turnovers, the offense scoring to put a team away or Evan McPherson hitting big-time field goals, the Bengals are a team that knows how to protect a lead.
The last time they played the Buffalo Bills, they scored first and never gave up the lead. Here’s to hoping we see more of the same Sunday Night.
Did Burrow and the offense turn a new leaf? Dadio and John Sheeran discussed that on their latest show and previewed the upcoming Sunday night game against the Bills.
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: