Cincinnati Bengals: Predicting The Stats Leaders For 2017

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Dec 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Nigel Bradham (53) defends against Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

A Scattered Backfield is Cause For Speculation

It wouldn’t be out of the question if the Bengals made some moves in the backfield before the start of the season. Rex Burkhead surely impressed in his limited minutes at the end of the year. Fans have expressed their opinions on social media wanting Burkhead to be re-signed and take over as the feature back in Cincinnati. One thing that makes sense is the fact that the Bengals aren’t going to just give up on Jeremy Hill or Giovanni Bernard this early in their careers. With that said, I Look for the Bengals to possibly sign Burkhead to a contract but keep things the way they are.

Hill should still lead the pack in rushing yards next season with a newly contracted Burkhead finishing second. A scrappy Giovanni Bernard, coming off of an ACL injury will serve as a flare back similar to the role of Darren Sproles. He will find the majority of his production catching passes out of the backfield.

Projecting the Numbers

Hill racked up 829 yards on 222 carries last season. Even though that results in just an average gain of 3.8 ypc. A healthy Jeremy Hill will be a 1,000 yard back next season.

If the Bengals can re-sign Burkhead, I look for the special teams standout to make an impact as the number two back. Burkhead can be expected to reach the century mark on carries next season while projecting 700-800 yards from scrimmage. Burkhead can also serve as a receiving threat out of the backfield. Look for the two Bengals’ backs to finish next season with 7 or more touchdowns each between the two.