Who Was The Bengals’ Best Running Back In 2016?

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals /

Rex Burkhead

Drafted out of the same class as Giovani Bernard, Rex Burkhead has been used sparingly during his career with the Bengals. With a running back by committee already existing in the Bengals backfield originally be Green-Ellis and Bernard, then by Bernard and Hill, there were few snaps left over for Burkhead. The former Nebraska Cornhuskers star only rushed 13 times his first three NFL seasons and had an average of under three yards per carry.

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Even though Burkhead hasn’t played nearly as many NFL snaps as the other backs in Cincinnati, he has slowly been picking up steam with the fan base due to his hard-working attitude and impressive end to the 2016 season.

Burkhead exploded in the Bengals finale against the Ravens: rushing for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. He also added another 25 yards on two catches. In addition to this one game, Burkhead was able to finish out the season with an impressive 4.6 yards per carry average.

If there is a knock against Burkhead, it’s that a lot of his carries came at garbage time or in situations conducive to giving up large chunks of yardage (such as draw plays on third down and 20). Even so, what Burkhead was able to do this season is impressive.

Next: What Do The Stats Say?