The Ground Game
Funny. The running game was just about in the same position that it was last season. In 2015, the Bengals rushed for 1,805 yards. That was good enough for No. 13 in the league and seventh in the AFC. The numbers practically the same from each year. What does this mean? Simple. The ground game wasn’t as bad as it seemed.
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Essentially, the Bengals’ offensive scheme didn’t deviate from the attack that Jackson employed. Fans wanted to see more of the run and thought it was happening. Nah. According to NFL.com, the offense had 446 rushes for a 4.0 ypc average. The numbers in 2015? They rushed 467 times for 3.9 average. Actually, the carries were down slightly. But, the answer is clear. Bengals coordinators like to pass. What’s interesting is the upward swing in the yards per carry. Evidently, that little hiccup occurred when Rex Burkhead was added to the mix.
Rex got his chance when Giovani Bernard suffered a torn ACL. Then, Jeremy Hill fell to the injury bug and missed the finale against the Ravens. Burkhead stepped in and politely shredded the Baltimore defense for a career-high 119 yards.
The formula is there. All three running backs will be trying to outshine each other. Hill will certainly be on alert. He’ll be in the last year of his rookie contract.