The Cincinnati Bengals beat the San Diego Chargers on Sunday 24-19, boosting their record to 2-0. Thanks to some big time plays, the Bengals beat another AFC West team for the second straight week in a row. In week one, Tyler Eifert was named MVP of the game. In week two, the award goes to running back Giovani Bernard. In fact,
There were a few other performances by key Bengals that were in the running for the MVP this week. For another week in a row, Andy Dalton comes in at second. Dalton threw for 214 yards and found three different targets for three touchdowns, as he continues his September success. On the defensive side of the ball, Adam Jones had another great game leading the Bengals in tackles with nine, defensive end Carlos Dunlap was involved in two sacks and kept pressure all game, and Vinny Rey had a game sealing interception. In the end, no one had a bigger impact than Giovani Bernard.
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Going into this season, we all believed Jeremy Hill would pick up where he left off. However, in the first few weeks that hasn’t been the case. In week one, Hill had a two touchdown performance, but only totaled 63 total yards on the ground. Hill followed his week one performance with two fumbles lost, 39 yards and getting benched in favor of Bernard.
While Hill has been off track, Bernard has been silently getting the job done. Now, after a great performance verse San Diego, he has given the Bengals something to think about. Bernard rushed for 123 yards on 20 carries, which is an average of 6.2 yards per attempt. Bernard showed up big this week, after putting out 63 yards on eight attempts in week one.
Although Bernard didn’t get into the endzone, he was a vital piece of the teams game plan. He was essential in picking up big chunks of yards when the Bengals needed it. Sound familiar? Last season, Hill was the guy we said kept producing big runs, which was obvious by Hill’s 5.1 yards per carry. This season, in just two games Bernard is now averaging 6.6 yards per carry on 189 rushing yards
Bernard may be starting to separate himself from Hill early in the season. It seemed as though every time Bernard touched the ball it was a first down after first down. As we have seen, Tyler Eifert had a big day in week one and Bernard showed up this past week, this Bengals offense is looking scary.
Next week, the Bengals take on division rival Baltimore Ravens who are currently last in the division at 0-2. Every game against the Ravens is a tough challenge and twice as important, but if we can see the same offense from the last two weeks, Cincinnati should improve to 3-0. In the meantime, congratulations to Giovani Bernard of this weeks performance.