Cincinnati Bengals: 4 toughest running backs on 2021 schedule

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Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) -Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Toughest Running Backs on Bengals 2021 Schedule: No. 1 – Dalvin Cook

There’s good news and bad news with having the Vikings on the schedule. The bad news is that it means Dalvin Cook is going to tear the Bengals’ defense to shreds. The good news is that at least it’ll be over after Week 1, so it’s out of the way.

Cook is a monster, there’s no other way to say it. He was a second-round pick in 2017 out of Florida State and has put up ridiculous numbers for the Vikings the past two years. The 2020 season was especially kind to him, as he rushed for 1,557 yards and an astounding 16 touchdowns through 14 games. He did that kind of damage despite missing two games!

Cook is a decent pass-catcher but he’s definitely scarier as a runner. He had 361 receiving yards and just one receiving touchdown in 2020.

Cook’s best game last season came in Week 7 against the Packers when he absolutely went off the rails. Cook’s stat line for that game: 30 carries for 163 yards and three rushing touchdowns and two receptions for 63 yards and one receiving touchdown. Yikes.

There’s a very good chance that the Bengals’ defense has a difficult time slowing Cook down but the hope is that Joe Burrow and the offense get off to a commanding lead and therefore the Vikings are forced to throw more. Taking Cook out of the game is crucial.

While there were certainly other running backs worth mentioning for this list, I picked these four. They’ve proven to be thorns in the sides of NFL teams and that’s why they made the cut.

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Will the Bengals be able to limit their production? We’ll have to wait and see when the 2021 season gets underway.