A defense that gets only two sacks in three games is usually a liability. Not in Cincinnati.
The Bengals are 3-0 largely because of a defense that defies the norm. Their defense has two sacks -- only Baltimore has fewer with one -- but leads the NFL with 12 interceptions and 16 takeaways.
"We've gotten good pressure," defensive tackle John Thornton said. "That's not a question. Teams know that. Some of the pressure we've had has led to interceptions. For some reason, we haven't gotten sacks, but that's really irrelevant to me."
There's a correlation between turnovers and winning. The link between sacks and wins is more tenuous. The Bengals had a franchise-record 48 sacks in 2001 -- and went 6-10.
The Bengals' formula so far has been to get a decent pass rush and disguise coverages, allowing a quarterback limited time to figure out what's happening. They had five interceptions in each of the last two games, the first time any NFL team had done that since 1971.
"Interceptions don't come without pressure," linebacker Brian Simmons said.
The Bengals didn't sack Kyle Orton in a 24-7 victory in Chicago last Sunday, but the rookie lost his composure and threw interceptions to five different players. Clearly, he felt some pressure.
"Sacks are good -- if you're up for your contract," Thornton said. "You get turnovers, that's big. That's not saying we don't want sacks, but I'd rather have not lost a game than have a bunch of sacks."
Filling the House
The Cardinals and 49ers, with a combined record of 1-5, are expected to draw well over 100,000 people to Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on Sunday night, the first regular season game played outside the United States.
Competitive football will be played for perhaps the last time at the Silverdome in conjunction with Super Bowl week.
The 80,000-seat stadium, the former home of the Detroit Lions, will host a celebrity game and the "Snooper Bowl" the weekend before the Feb. 5 Super Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit.
Rap star Snoop Dogg is sponsoring the "Snooper Bowl" that will feature youngsters from California against a Michigan all-star team to be selected from third, fourth and fifth-grade teams. The rapper is also expected to perform and hold a halftime event for the youngsters.
A similar game held in Jacksonville before this year's Super Bowl drew 15,000 and raised $50,000 for local charities.
The 30-year-old Silverdome was the site of the 1982 Super Bowl and has been for sale for three years.
The Jaguars haven't scored 30 points since Dec. 23, 2001, a 33-3 victory at Minnesota. They have gone 53 games since without hitting the 30-point plateau. The streak is by far the longest in the league.
Detroit is second, having gone 18 games without scoring 30 points. New Orleans is third at 12 games. Fourteen teams have already scored 30 points or more this season.
The Jaguars feel like they are close. They scored 26 against Seattle in the opener and 26 again last week at the New York Jets, needing overtime to get there.
"We're slowly creeping toward it," running back Fred Taylor said. "We'll eventually get it."
Coach Jack Del Rio agreed.
"I feel confident that we'll go past that threshold this year," he said. "We scored 26 in two of the first three games, and I think we can all agree there were some opportunities for more there. If you focus on the process and working at it and all the small details, the execution, then that's just a byproduct. The points come."