As San Francisco comes to town, the Bengals will look to shut down the 49ers run game just as they have done nearly all season long to opposing teams. Last week the Bengals held their opponent to under 100 yards rushing for a third straight game.
Here are five things to know ahead of Sunday's Week 14 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers:
1. Thrice Is Nice
In every game since the bye week, the Bengals defense has forced multiple turnovers. In that span there have been four interceptions; two by Eli Apple, one by Chidobe Awuzie, and a pick-six by Mike Hilton. Trey Hendrickson has had two strip-sacks, and there have been two forced fumbles, one by Hilton and the other by Germaine Pratt. This is the Bengals longest such streak of forcing multiple turnovers since they had a three-game stretch back in 2015.
2. An Apple A Day Keeps Quarterbacks Away
Apple has been one of those defenders playing lights out in the secondary since the bye. Along with his two interceptions, which have tied his single-season career-high, Apple has allowed just three receptions and zero touchdowns. He has posted an 88 PFF grade over the last three weeks, making him the second highest-rated corner in the league during that span. Apple is second on the team in passes defended with six and is tied for second in interceptions.
3. Pratt's All Folks
When you take a close look at the numbers Pratt has been putting up this season, you could argue it is his best season to date in the NFL. The third-year linebacker was tied for the team lead in tackles last week against the Chargers with nine. He also logged a career-high in snaps and a career-high 90. 6 PFF grade, on his way to being the highest-graded linebacker across the league. Pratt has already set a new career-high in forced turnovers (3) and has tied his career-high in tackles for loss in a season with five.
4. Red Notice
Cincinnati has been efficient when it matters most on offense. The Bengals are third in the league in red zone touchdown percentage (69.7%) and are the highest-rated team in the AFC. But when you look at the numbers over the last three weeks, that percentage is even higher. The Bengals have scored a touchdown on seven of their nine trips inside the 20, capitalizing for six points on 77.7 percent of those red zone trips.
5. Rock The Vote
You can send your favorite Bengals to the 2022 pro bowl in Las Vegas. Fan voting is under way but cast your votes soon because the ballots will close on December 16. Eight Bengals are currently in the top ten for their respective position group, with rookie Ja'Marr Chase leading all AFC receivers in voting. Joe Mixon isn't far behind as he's third among running backs, and Trey Hendrickson is third among all defensive ends. Visit NFL.com/pro-bowl to vote now. Rosters will be announced on December 20.