Any time you are in the bottom half of the league in anything, that is not good. The Bengals find their run game ranked 19th, averaging just 107.9 ypg. Surprisingly, the Bengals are 4th in the NFL in rushing attempts (319) but rank just 26th with 3.7 ypc. The struggles in the run game are a culmination of poor run blocking, poor play calling, poor scheming and also poor running back play (at least by the “starter”). Most disappointing has been the play of BJGE.
While BJGE leads the team with 522 yards, he is averaging a paltry 3.3 ypc. That ranks him below 40 other players, including backups like Bilal Powell, Danny Woodhead, Daniel Thomas, Jacquizz Rodgers, Mike Tolbert, etc. Meanwhile, his “backup” (Bernard) is averaging 4.4 ypc and offers a lot in the passing game as well. If not for the rookie Bernard, the running backs grade would be a “D” at best. With 42 receptions, 809 all-purpose yards, and 7 TDs, it is time for Bernard to be the starter and BJGE to be the situational player.
With Dalton’s recent struggles, establishing an actual running attack in down the stretch will be very important to the Bengals ability to advance in the playoffs.