Should we take anything from the team's rushing offense against the Colts; great foundation for rebuilt rushing offense?

On the stat sheet, it was impressive. On 43 attempts the Bengals offense recorded 296 yards rushing -- a staggering 6.9 yards-per-rush team average. Three different running backs recorded 50 yards or more and all five finished with an average of five yards per rush. Leonard, Scott and Benson recorded at least 23 yards on a single rush attempt. Impressive that might seem, is it wise to adjust and finalize the roster based on this performance? Were any questions answered or were they prolonged? The Colts started two regular starters; so the first team Bengals offense was already playing a backup defense. On the other hand, the Bengals offense started swapping in backup players by the next offensive possession against a defense that averaged 124 yards rushing allowed per game heading into the preseason finale.

As for the season, the Bengals rushed for more than four-yards per attempt through their last three games, recording seven first downs or more on the ground. Here's the game-by-game breakdown.

  @ NO @ NE STL INDY
Yards Rushing 90 173 141 296
Attempts 27 35 32 43
Yards/Att 3.3 4.9 4.4 6.9
First Downs 3 7 9 16
Touchdowns 0 0 1 1

There were periods that the rushing offense struggled early; for the most part, they played well, thanks to a rebuilt offensive line. To further breakdown the performance, the following shows how the Bengals rushing offense did in the first half, when the starters played (though not the entire half in most instances) of each preseason game.

  @ NO @ NE STL INDY
Yards Rushing 61 49 54 168
Attempts 16 17 14 17
Yards/Att 3.8 2.9 3.9 9.9
First Downs 2 3 5 10
Touchdowns 0 0 1 1

The secondary question, after examining the team's effort rushing the ball, is the makeup of the personnel. If the battle is between Bernard Scott and DeDe Dorsey, two backs with similar running styles, then I would guess it would be Scott's. Leonard and Dorsey, it gets muddy. However, I would image in the Bengals would elect a tougher runner between the tackles in the AFC North. Then there's always the prevailing, "what if" the Bengals take four running backs. If that's the case, discussion is over. They take four. Nothing left to talk about.

  @ NO @ NE STL INDY
Cedric Benson 8-28 10-28 5-17 2-35
Bernard Scott 6-20 5-6 8-54 5-43
Brian Leonard 6-10 7-34 4-6-1 9-64-1
DeDe Dorsey 3-5 4-60 4-22 13-68
James Johnson -- 4-22 8-25 11-55

The first number is rushing attempts. The second is yards rushing and the third is touchdowns scored.

Along with an offensive line that could struggle early with so many new pieces from this time a year ago, I believe the Bengals have a good building block for their entire rushing offense. However, I'm not sure if the Bengals should really use the game against Indianapolis as a means to finalize the roster. If questions remained about the position heading into the game, then those questions likely remain. It seemed to me anyone could have rushed well Thursday night. And it's not like anyone struggled. But like I said, while the choice will be difficult for the coaches, I believe we should be encouraged by the foundation this team is setting for the rushing offense.

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