Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Bernard gives the Bengals offense a dynamic aspect they haven’t had for a while, yet somehow Gruden seems to be the only one not realizing it. On Sunday, Bernard had 148 total yards – 12 carries for 99 yards (8.3 ypc) and 4 receptions for 49 yards (12.3 ypc).
But Gruden still gave BJGE the bulk of the carries (17) and the most targets on the team (18), despite averaging 2.8 ypc against the same defense Bernard was averaging 8.3. At some point, if Gruden won’t use Bernard as the main back, Marvin needs to force it. The Bengals are a dangerous offense when Bernard is on the field and average at best when BJGE is on the field.
The New Offensive Line
Rarely is an injury a good thing, but it looks like Boling’s injury may have been. The Bengals line is exponentially better with the revamped left side. How much better? Since Boling went down and Whitworth moved to LG and Collins to LT, Dalton has not been sacked, has been hit exactly 0 times, and the run game that was averaging 110.8 ypg with Boling at LG is all the sudden averaging 159.5 ypg with Whitworth at LG.
In the first 11 games, the Bengals had 0 running backs with 90+ yards. In the two games with the new line, the Bengals are 2 for 2 in having a running back reach 90 wins.