- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Bengals haven't had top cornerback Leon Hall for the past two games and their pass defense has improved.
The Bengals have recorded six sacks the past two games, raising their total to an NFL-best 17 this season. Call it the Carlos Dunlap effect. Since the defensive end returned after missing the first two games with a knee injury, Cincinnati's front four has been getting to the quarterback more often.
Dunlap's bull rushes off the edge force offenses to focus their attention on him. He has a sack in each of his first two games back, and the Bengals' defensive line has accounted for nine of the 12 sacks the past two weeks.
A strength of the Bengals defense last season was its ability to get to the quarterback with its front four. Cincinnati rarely blitzed and finished fifth in the NFL last season in sacks. With Dunlap back, the Bengals' pass rush has returned to form.
STAT THAT STICKS: 28 -- Percent conversion rate on third downs for the Bengals. Only the Buccaneers and Redskins are worse on third downs than Cincinnati.
OVERHEARD: "He fumbled the ball on the 1-yard line which is something you don’t want to have happen. Benny is such a conscientious person and he just needs to keep the ball high and tight. He was trying to jump over the stack, but that’s no good if you don’t have the ball with you.” Marvin Lewis on running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis' second fumble in two games.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Bengals (3-1) play host to the Dolphins (1-3), who have lost four of their past five road games including the last three.