Not to pile onto the "Camp Postcards" article from yesterday, but the second item really got me thinking:
The Bengals finished a surprising 12th in the NFL in total defense in '08 (it was by far their best performance since 2001), but that ranking was inflated in that they spent so much time way behind in games, allowing opposing offenses to ease up on the accelerator. "The offenses may have been running a little bit more, because we weren't playing from ahead a lot, and I don't think we were quite top 10 material," says second-year defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
Seems like a nice little bit of humility from a coach that improved a defense significantly in his first year in Bengaldom until you actually look at the numbers. The chart below shows how our defense performed by week in 2008:
That's right, the defense actually gave up significantly more yards/play in the second half than in the first. In only three of the games did the defense give up fewer yards per play in the second half than they did in the first, and that's including 11 kneeldowns to end blowouts. Don't worry, it's not some statistical anomaly, they also gave up more significantly more points in the 2nd half (216) than they did in the first (148).
What's worse, the fact that Ben Reiter didn't bother to check the data before proclaiming his theory or that Mike Zimmer didn't appear to know either.