Benson's return creates a good problem for Lewis

C.Benson.jpgBengals coach Marvin Lewis announced Monday that Cedric Benson will return to the starting lineup against the Lions Sunday.

We’ve heard optimism regarding Benson’s return before, but it sounds more definitive this time.

“It was discussed to me what the plan was for the long haul,” Benson
said after Sunday’s win. “They definitely want me to be fresh going into the last five
games and into the postseason. That’s a good plan.”

Larry Johnson’s 100-yard game and Bernard Scott’s superlative play gives Lewis options in his backfield.  (The play of the backups also outlines how great Cincy’s offensive line is playing.)  This is the sort of good problem the Bengals rarely have.

Benson didn’t sound too thrilled with possibly sharing the workload when asked about it.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s a weird question. I didn’t know I
was having to share time,” Benson said. “I don’t know. If it wasn’t
like that before I don’t know why it would be like that now.”

We suspect Benson doesn’t have much to worry about.  Scott says he won’t miss any time because of a toe injury suffered Sunday, but he will likely be used as a change-of-pace back.  Johnson didn’t look overly quick or impressive despite his numbers.

Once the Bengals get through the soft part of their schedule, Benson seems likely to dominate carries again.

15 responses to “Benson's return creates a good problem for Lewis

  1. Has there ever been one team with the collective amount of desire-for-redemption (from being cut, marginalized, scorned, dismissed by the media, recovered from injury, etc.) that this bunch of Bengals has?
    It won’t be the story if they stumble along the way (and the Colts and Patriots are still a very tall wall to scale), but if they take things all the way to the Super Bowl, it could be the entire story.

  2. Johnson didn’t look impressive eh Rosenthal? It was the RB play that prevented a debacle of a game for Cincy’s offense.
    What are your credentials again exactly? Florio’s nephew or something like that?

  3. I thought Larry Johnson looked pretty darned impressive considering it was his second week with the team. This will ultimately work out in Cedric’s favor though, because he’ll have fresher legs for the playoffs.

  4. I would have to agree with Football. LJ was impressive, though I must admit I had low expectations. He was able to hit the holes, break a few arm tackles and get into the third level. I figured he would get some runs where he pulled along some linebackers, but he got to the secondary a few times, which like I said, impressed me. Still, Benson starts until further notice. Benson is definitely a more complete back, though not a “complete” back.

  5. Any time a running back rushes for 100 yards in a regular season, NFL game, it’s very impressive. LJ looked pretty darn good to me. The Bengals now have a stable of running backs. I hope they use LJ to grind out the next few games so Benson is back to 100%, for the second round of the playoffs. I would like to see Palmer have a better showing, but I think that will come. Who Dey!

  6. LOL @ all the LJ was impressive comments…..
    He played against the Browns!
    Lions offense looked like “The Greatest Show on Turf” when they played the Browns…….

  7. Greg Rosenthal, you know the guy who ran for 100 yards during a spirited game of touch football at his grandparents house over the Thanksgiving weekend. Though his sister was playing wicked good at linebacker, Greg (you don’t deserve 2 G’s in your name for the Flacco is better than Palmer bs you wrote) was able to stiff arm her for a few more tough yards. haha

  8. morons i tell ya
    first of all, LJ was EXTREMELY rested, he hasnt played a full game in HOW LONG? so that wont last, he didnt have close to the burst Benson has
    Secondly, did anyone notice the holes that the line opened up for him? (against who again?? the Browns) Looked similiar to some of the holes that used to get opened up in Denver (ala Mike Bell, Portis, Tatum Bell, etc etc etc)
    He may have looked impressive against the Browns, but my kid sister could have run for 150yds against the Browns

  9. Sjanlju
    I’m not saying he was a world beater or his old self, I’m just saying I expected him to be a lot slower and a lot less able to break tackles. Yeah, he played against the Browns, but he showed me that in the right role, he can be a 3-4 yards and a pile of dust type guy. So, not impressive in the overall scheme of things, but impressive in that he exceeded my expectations.

  10. ray rice didn’t run for 100 yards against the browns, and ray rice > your kid sister.

  11. Playing running back is not rocket science. They allowed LJ to run their base running plays that everyone in the NFL runs. The thing that hamstrings the Bengals is that opponents know LJ can’t pass block so it will be very obvious when the Begals will be passing when LJ is coming back to the sidelines. Perhaps this is just what LJ needed…something to work for. He may play better when he knows that he is playing for a contract. Just don’t give him a monster contract like Carl “King” Peterson.

  12. I can’t wait for a two back offense. think of a rotating running game featuring Benson, LJ, and Scott. When they get Andre Smith integrated into the line, look out!

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