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Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Morning Stripes: Bengals' post-turnover D

By Coley Harvey

Usually when an offense turns the ball over in its own territory, it sets up a subsequent chain of bad events for that same team's defense.

Given a short field on which to stop the opposing offense on the sudden possession change, the aforementioned defense doesn't always stand firm. Touchdowns are often the product of the quick field flip and can push a team further and further out of contention in a game.

That hasn't really been the case, though, for the Cincinnati Bengals in recent weeks. For the most part when Cincinnati's offense turns the ball over at any point on the field -- but particularly in its own territory -- its defense has been able to answer with a hold. We'll get into it more with the first link of this Tuesday edition of the Morning Stripes, but the Dayton Daily News' Jay Morrison provided the figures that show whether its on a short field or long field, the Bengals' post-turnover defense has been really strong of late.

In the last three games, the Bengals' offense has turned the ball over 19 times. Three of those turnovers, like Joe Haden's interception that was returned for a score in Sunday's 41-20 win over the Browns, came when the opposing defense returned the turnover for a touchdown. So that leaves 16 other drives when the Bengals' defense has been asked to stand firm and not allow a touchdown.

According to Morrison's research, on 15 of those drives, it has done just that. Only once in the past three games has a Bengals offensive turnover led to a turnover given up by their defense. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one reason why Cincinnati's offense has its defense to thank for keeping it in arguably all but one game this season.

Let's get to the rest of the Morning Stripes: