15 and 3.1
What has become a weekly staple in this column is the lack of rushing attempts from a Cincinnati offense that has almost given up entirely on the concept of running the ball consistently. Just attempting to run the ball, regardless of the output, seems like it is not a realistic option.
This week was more of the same. The Bengals rushed only 15 times for 46 yards, averaging 3.1 yards per carry.
Among the teams that have played six games, Cincinnati is next to last in rushing attempts with 121. They are last in rushing yards with 419. The next closest team are the Raiders, with 441.
Among all NFL teams, the Bengals are last in rushing yards per game (69.8) and tied for 30th in rushing touchdowns (1).
As was pointed out on the television broadcast, Cincinnati has gone nine straight games without rushing 100 yards. That is the longest active streak in the NFL.
There were two occasions when not attempting to run the ball hurt the offense in this game. The first was after a Cam Taylor-Britt interception. The Bengals went three-and-out after three consecutive passes for zero yards. The result was a 52-yard field goal from Evan McPherson.
The second time not running the ball almost severely cost the Bengals was at the end of the game. With 2:03 left, they threw a deep pass that resulted in an incompletion. Although it may appear insignificant, and the decision to try for a big play was understandable, the offensive line was without their starting left tackle. Burrow had already been sacked three times and hit another four.
When coming out of the two-minute warning, they ran the ball on second down and threw an incompletion on third, allowing Seattle to keep their final timeout.
The Bengals averaged 3.1 yards per carry during the game. While not an impressive average, rushing the ball on first and second down could have made the third down more manageable. It would have also forced the Seahawks to use their last timeout.