2014 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

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group