Perhaps in an attempt to regain their physicality in stopping the run, the Bengals suited up in pads Wednesday after a few weeks of not doing so, according to the team's web site.
In the first 10 games of the season, the Bengals allowed 88.6 yards rushing per game. In the past six, they have given up 131.5.
In Saturday's playoff game, the Bengals will face a Texans offense that ran for 144 yards against them on Dec. 11.
“Let’s get back to when we were No. 1 in rush defense,” defensive tackle Domata Peko told the Bengals' site. “I think that’s why we threw the pads on; to kind of simulate that. You lose sight of the technique if you don’t have your pads on."
He added, "You (have to) stay low and get off blocks, so we’re trying to simulate that. It’s good to get back into pads because we play in pads. I think we needed that. We needed to get back into that. We were playing really great and then we lagged for the last couple of weeks. We had some big runs on us. That stuff doesn’t sit easy for me. I hate that stuff. If someone breaks a big run, I take that personally.”
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams can practice in pads once per week in the postseason.