Cincinnati Bengals following Seahawks Recipe

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The Offense

Jeremy Hill will be looking to become a stalwart in the Cincinnati backfield. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Discussing the Seahawks without mentioning Marshawn Lynch would be a crime.  The Seahawks’ offense has been carried by the bruising back for a few years now (see “the Beast Quake“).  This isn’t to take anything away from Russell Wilson.  He’s clearly in line to become a great quarterback, but for now this team has relied on running the football to move the chains and control the ball.  This allows Wilson to face less pressure and opens up the field making his throws easier and enabling him to make plays within the passing game.

This year the Bengals are transitioning away from former offensive coordinator Jay Gruden’s pass-emphasizing offense to Hue Jackson’s running style.  The Bengals are heavily invested in this plan evidenced by their drafting of Jeremy Hill in the second round of this year’s draft.  He’s a bruising back and built very similarly to Lynch.  The Bengals are hoping he can grind out the tough yards in a similar manner to Lynch while they maintain possession and rely on their defense.  As Jackson has alluded to on several occasions, this plan should take some of the pressure off Andy Dalton and allow him to make plays off the running games impact like Wilson in Seattle.

Beyond these similarities, the Bengals probably possess better weapons on offense while Giovani Bernard likens the skill set of the oft-injured Percy Harvin. But in order for the Bengals to find similar success, Andy Dalton will have to prove he is better off in an offense like the one Jackson has in mind.

The Bengals have assembled the type of roster that should find success in the playoffs.  They’ve followed a similar blueprint to that of several past champions including the 2013 Seahawks, so all that’s left is to execute the game plan they were built for.  Hopefully they can put it all together so its tortured fan base can finally enjoy a level of success they’ve never experienced.