3 Questions about the Bengals’ turnaround season

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BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals drops back against the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals drops back against the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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3 Questions about the Bengals' turnaround season
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

Can Jeremy Find His Mojo?

When everything is put into perspective, it’s a simple and direct question. After wowing fans with a rookie year that made believers out of doubters, the skepticism is back.

Jeremy Hill is a talented running back, don’t get the bottom line twisted. But, the NFL is a fickle beast. And Bengals fans are waiting for a repeat of the 1,400-yard season that made him the second coming of James Brooks or Corey Dillon.

You want facts? You’re not ready for the facts…honestly. Since slicing NFL defenses for a 5.1 YPC average in 2014, Hill has averaged 3.6 and 3.8 in the years following. According to  Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, 4.0 and above is the target. That may not seem like much. But, it’s the difference between an average back and a potential gamebreaker.

Hill seems confident that he’ll remain the Bengals’ main RB. However, this will be his audition stage. His rookie contract ends this season and his work ethic could very well be the reason he’s released or re-signed.

Solution:

In order for Hill to remain in Cincinnati, he should be required to duplicate those rookie numbers. If he’s looking for a hefty raise, it shouldn’t be a problem. Even if he rushes for 1,200 yards and throws in some utility yardage, fans would be marginally satisfied. He was drafted to be a star. This is the year he has to shine…pun intended.

Give Joe Mixon a good look. The competition should push Jeremy to his potential.

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