On paper, the Bengals run game looks formidable. In reality, it’s not.
Cincinnati ranks 23th in rushing yards per game at 88.8 and 28th in yards per attempt at 3.3. Joe Mixon has 52 carries for 136 yards; Giovani Bernard has 18 carries for 89 yards; and Jeremy Hill has 25 carries for 82 yards.
“Obviously we need to do a better job of running the ball,” Bengals center Russell Bodine said, via Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Some of that stuff is consistency, consistency in your fits, consistency of the backs, consistency with everything. Some of the stuff is a little skewed because [Sunday against the Browns] they’ve got an extra guy in the box, and we’re trying to run the clock out. Stats-wise, some of that comes from the situation of the game. That is what it is. But obviously we really need to get 4 yards a carry on offense. We haven’t really done that consistently up until this point.
“That’s our goal, and we need to get to that. We just need to find a way to do it.”
The Bengals have run it 60 times the past two weeks combined but rushed for 1 yard 15 times, zero yards three times and negative yards 11 times, per Owczarski. They gained a combined 196 rushing yards in the two games.
Cincinnati lacks cohesion up front with a rotation at both tackle spots and three different right guards seeing time because of injuries. The Bengals also, of course, have changed offensive play-callers with Bill Lazor taking over the duties since Sept. 22.
“Whether you’re the most successful or you’re the 32nd team in the league, there’s always something to work on; there’s always something to get better at,” right tackle Jake Fisher said. “When you stop thinking like that, then that’s when you start creeping back, and we can’t have any creep back.”