2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Bengals' RB tandem has them in high gear

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-02 16:11

CINCINNATI (AP) - The Bengals still don't have a 100-yard game by either of their running backs, a surprising statistic for a team that likes to grind it out whenever possible.

Just shows how well their tandem is working.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis had his best game of the season Sunday, finishing off a 17-10 win in San Diego by running over defenders while the Bengals (8-4) ran out the clock. The tackle-to-tackle runner finished with a season-high 92 yards. Rookie Giovani Bernard added 57 yards.

Cincinnati piled up 164 overall on the ground, the fourth time the Bengals have rushed for more than 160 yards in a game this season.

There's no single star in this running game.

''Those guys really complement each other well,'' offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said on Monday. ''Bennie's obviously a banger and Gio can do some different things. He softens up the defense because they're worried about the passing game with him swinging out of the backfield. So both of them are very effective with what they do.

''The important thing is to keep them fresh and try to stick with it.''

Their showing on Sunday was in some respects their most impressive yet, even though they remain one of only six teams in the league without a 100-yard rusher this season. The line was in flux after left guard Clint Boling tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the first quarter.

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth moved into Boling's spot and Anthony Collins came in to play left tackle. Coach Marvin Lewis said Monday that Boling would have surgery.

Despite the line changes, the Bengals were able to run the ball when it mattered.

Green-Ellis scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter. With the Bengals leading 17-10 and 4:43 left, they got the ball at their 34-yard line and ran out the clock. Their last eight plays were runs, followed by Andy Dalton twice going to his knee as the clock ran out.

Green-Ellis converted a pair of third-down rushes to keep that final drive going.

''I get a lot of that Mariano Rivera stuff,'' Green-Ellis said Monday, referring to the Yankees closer. ''I guess I'm getting a new nickname. It's fun. Obviously you like to have the ball in your hands to close out games.''

Green-Ellis, whose nickname is ''The Law Firm,'' is known for holding onto the ball when other teams are trying to rip it out of his arms. The Bengals had a chance to put the game away midway through the fourth quarter on Sunday, but he lost a fumble for only the fourth time in his career.

The Bengals got the ball back, and he held on.

''When you give up one of those, it's like you have something burning inside of you that you didn't even know you had,'' Green-Ellis said. ''You just get a lot more energy and power.''

Gruden could sense an extra determination by Green-Ellis on that last drive.

''He hasn't put the ball down too many times in his career,'' Gruden said. ''You could tell when he does, it hurts him more than it hurts us. It hurts us a lot, but it really hurts him. And you want to make up for it, and he did.''

Part of the reason the Bengals don't have a 100-yard rusher is because their two backs are sharing plays. Green-Ellis has carried 176 times for 614 yards; Bernard has 119 carries for 521 yards. Using them interchangeably has kept both fresh and allowed Gruden to get creative.

''It lets coach Gruden utilize his entire playbook and not limit him at all,'' Bernard said. ''If there's a situation where I need to go in, he'll throw me in. If there's a situation he wants Benny in, he'll throw him in. It definitely helps us and we definitely use it to our advantage.''

NOTES: Lewis is considering keeping Whitworth at left guard this Sunday against the Colts (8-4) at Paul Brown Stadium. Lewis said there's a chance right guard Kevin Zeitler, who missed the last two games with an injured right foot, could be back in practice this week. ... CB Dre Kirkpatrick said he left the locker room quickly on Sunday because he was emotional over his first career interception. ''I just wanted to take it all in,'' he said.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group