The defending AFC champions have won two straight games after a 0-2 start. And credit to a Cincinnati Bengals defensive unit that continues to improve.
When the Baltimore Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night, there will be plenty of discussion regarding how Zac Taylor’s team pushed around their AFC North rival a season ago on both occasions. There was a 41-17 rout of John Harbaugh’s club in Week 7 at Baltimore. Nine weeks later in the Queen City, it was a 41-21 victory for the eventual AFC North and conference champions.
Bengals defense stepping up early in 2022 season
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had quite the two-game set against what would wind up giving up the most passing yards in the league. The Super Bowl-bound signal-caller contribute mightily to Baltimore’s dismal ranking, throwing for a combined 941 yards and seven scores, with one interception. In those contests, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase caught 15 passes for a whopping 326 yards and one memorable touchdown at Baltimore.
But if you’re looking at why the Bengals own a 2-2 record this season and what the key to Sunday night’s game could be, look no further than a Cincinnati defense that is really coming into its own.
Entering Week 5 of the NFL season, Taylor’s club ranked 11th in the league in the fewest total yards allowed. Only three teams in the NFL had given up fewer yards on the ground. The Bengals’ defensive unit has allowed only four offensive touchdowns in as many games. There have been seven sacks (2.5 by Trey Hendrickson) and seven takeaways (2 interceptions by Vonn Bell) entering this showdown with the Ravens.
Sunday night in Baltimore will feature two very talented quarterbacks in Burrow and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson. But the key to the Bengals winning a third consecutive game (following a frustrating 0-2 start) will be another standout from a Cincinnati defense that has not gotten it’s just due…at least not yet.