Cincinnati Bengals: Winners and Losers vs. Colts

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Aug 28, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Winner: Jeremy Hill

Although he did so primarily against backups, rookie running back Jeremy Hill played extremely well last night and showed promise as a future “bell cow” back for the Bengals.  Hill finished last night with 20 carries for 90 yards, six catches for 70 yards (one being a 41 yard gain on a screen pass; you can see the highlight here), and one TD.  Hill showed promise in both phases of the game and displayed real ability when running the ball to the outside (we all know he’ll be able to run between the tackles due to his bruising style).  Hill did exactly what he should’ve done against inferior talent, so, though his performance should be “taken with a grain of salt,” fans should be pleased with such a dominating performance.

Hill looks to be the perfect compliment to second-year runner Giovani Bernard and with the group being filled out by veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis and rookie FB/HB Ryan Hewitt, the backfield looks poised to be one of the league’s most effective.  It’s depth will enable these runners to stay healthy and fresh throughout the year and if the Bengals make their fourth straight trip to the playoffs, this group will allow the Bengals to lean on its run game during this time of the year.  The Bengals’ playoff struggles have been well documented, but understanding the importance of defense and the running game during the playoffs, the Bengals look to have built a team capable of getting over this proverbial “hump.”