Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) celebrates with running back Giovani Bernard (25) after scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the first quarter in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Over the past few seasons Andy Dalton has proven that he isn’t going to be the quarterback who puts the team on his back and carries them through the tough times. Accepting this reality means the Bengals needed to take their offense in a different direction. They’ve since chosen to emphasize the run for a few reasons.
Beyond considering the limitations of Andy Dalton, the team also transitioned from Jay Gruden to Hue Jackson as offensive coordinator. Jackson has a great prowess for a run-emphasizing offense evidenced by his days in Oakland (2010-11). Also, playing in the AFC North where the weather can be rather inauspicious means running the ball is often a great tool to utilize.
Finally, the Bengals, prior to last season, featured one of the league’s best defenses. Recent history suggests the team prefers to rely on this unit during the tough times. Running the ball effectively allows an offense to control the clock, which also offers the defense more time to rest on the sidelines and puts less pressure on the unit to continually stop the opposing offense.
Choosing to emphasize the run has caused the Bengals to do all they can in recent seasons to bolster their rushing attack. They’ve done a great job gearing up for the coming season and I expect Cincinnati will feature one of the league’s top rushing attacks. Let take a look at each component of the rushing attack based on position.
Next: The Offensive Line