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Let’s talk about the Bengals’ 6th ranked pass defense

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Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

I was looking at some numbers on the Bengals defense this morning. If you look at their yardage totals, you would assume that their weakness is against the run. They are 6th in the league against the pass only allowing 192.6 yards per game but are 20th in the league against the run allowing 116.5 yards per game.

However, DVOA numbers tell a different story. They are 17th against the pass but 7th against the run by that metric. Digging in a little further, they are 6th in DVOA against WR1s, 20th against WR2s, 32nd(!) against all other wide receivers and 27th against the tight end. HELLO DELANIE WALKER!!!1

So why is there such a difference between the yards per game and DVOA stats? The answer lies in the opponents the Bengals have faced so far this season. Outside of their game against the Steelers, they highest ranking passing offense they have faced by DVOA is the Texans (14th) and that was Deshaun Watson’s first start in week 2.

With all of that being said, there will be opportunities for the Titans through the air in this game. We haven’t seen a complete game from the passing attack yet. This could be the game where we see that come together to start the second half push.