I am certain my daughter’s first word is going to be “Gio!” Every Sunday she sits on the floor and smacks around her Sesame Street toys while daddy watches his Bengals. At least once a week she is startled by her daddy jumping up from the couch and shouting “Gio! Gio! Gio!”. Her reaction is a one of curiosity and amazement. Similarly, this has been the reaction of Bengals fans so many times this year when Giovani Bernard touches the football.
Bernard is the player Bengals fans have waited a lifetime for. He is the Peter Warrick that never translated from the NCAA to the NFL. He is the Ki-Jana Carter that, well, never was. OK, so I will stop there. No Bengals fan needs a fresh reminder of the Ghosts of Drafts Past. So let’s examine Gio in a more objective manner.
Gio has 723 yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns. These numbers certainly are not modest, but they don’t fully express the value Gio has had to the offense as a whole. It is obvious that the Law Firm is running for a purpose on early downs. Now, his production on short yardage has fallen, but when a player is advertised year after year as THE go-to-guy on short yardage, teams are going to defend accordingly. Has a flashy rookie running back sparked a fire under BJGE?