They’ve been greatly rewarded, as the Bengals rushing offense exploded over the past six games, a stretch in which they’ve gone 5-1 and went from starring at a top-10 draft pick to potentially entering a Week 16 showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers with a chance to lock-up a playoff berth. During the Bengals 4-game losing streak, Pressley received a whopping 36 offensive snaps, an average of nine snaps per game.
During the ensuing 4-game winning-streak, Pressley has received 62 snaps, an average of just over 15 snaps per game while also being asked to lead block more. The result: career-long runs of 39, 41, and 48 yards by Ellis while averaging 100 yards per game over those four games while the rushing offense rose from near the bottom of the league to 10th (120 yards per game avg.).
For whatever reason, the Bengals went away from that success last week against the Cowboys, running the ball just 18 times, despite holding a lead for much of the contest. That was nearly 10 less attempts than what they’d averaged during the 4-game losing-streak. Despite losing Pressley last night after just five offensive snaps, his presence was felt on the Bengals opening drive when he was the lead-blocker on Ellis’ 29-yard run down to the PHI-15 which lead to the games’ first touchdown.
With news coming out that Pressley will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn quad tendon during last night’s game, the Bengals will be losing a significant part of their running game that won’t be easily replaced. Expect to see them target Jourdan Brooks to replace him after Brooks spent the preseason with the Bengals as the backup FB. And as for Pressley, here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery and a bounce-back season in 2013.