Monday, October 12, 2009
Cedric Benson said it could be done, and he went out and proved it when he ran for 120 yards, becoming the first player in 40 games to eclipse 100 yards against the Ravens. The Ravens take great pride in holding other team's running games down, and it had been awhile since the Bengals had been able to run on the Ravens, and in the first half they did a fairly decent job, but Benson turned it on in the second half, including a 28-yard TD run in the third quarter. In all Benson rushed 27 times for 120 yards and a touchdown to help the Bengals improve to 3-0 on the road this season.
I think its safe to say that the Bengals running game is back after three seasons where they failed to average four yards per carry. It has been a big problem for the team, and one they kept saying they were going to fix, and finally it looks like they have.
Not only do we have a runner in Benson who can get tough yards, or sprint for the end zone, but we have an offensive line that has stood tall against both Pittsburg and Baltimore. The Raven's top rated run defense had been giving up just 2.6 yards per carry through the first four games, the Bengals however were able to grind out 4.2 yards. Benson was able to hit Baltimore for the longest runs given up this season. Runs of 17 and 28 yards, the last for a touch down.
Someone on the Bengals must have been watching the movie "The Express", because they unveiled a “super unbalanced” offensive line formation about a half dozen times. At times, guard Evan Mathis and a wide receiver were the only players to the left of center Kyle Cook. On the right were right guard Bobbie Williams, both tackles and both tight ends. This formation really seemed to take the Ravens by surprise.
Coach Lewis on his team's running game, “This is a team [Baltimore] that doesn’t give up 100-yard rushers. Believe me, I know that. It’s a tradition, and it’s prideful. What our offensive group and Cedric did today has been unmatched for a long time. It was a big game.”
UPDATE: Who is the NFL’s leading rusher? Cincinnati Bengals tailback Cedric Benson!
That's right Benson is leading the NFL in rushing with 487 yards, ahead of such elite rushers as Adrian Peterson (481) and Chris Johnson (468) through the first five games. Benson has two 100-yard+ games this season, including Sunday’s 120 rushing yards.