CHARLOTTE NC - SEPTEMBER 26: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled by Chris Gamble #20 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 26 2010 in Charlotte North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Cedric Benson surprisingly used the media this week to air his frustrations about the offense lacking an identity. Of course, as if irony had its own book on life, Palmer threw back-to-back incomplete passes on the opening drive before cornerback Captain Munnerlyn intercepted a third down pass intended for Chad Ochocinco, before Cedric Benson ever touches the football.
When asked after the game about Benson's comments, Marvin Lewis was very direct.
"I thought the difference in the 12 carries was the 12 Bernard (Scott) had. So that’s the way it’s going to be, and Ced knows that. He won’t let you guys or any media lead him down that path any more that way. Some days he’ll get some carries. Some days he may not. Sometimes we might throw it. We’re going to win some games. We’re going to play 16 games, and hopefully play 16 games with Cedric. Bernard is going to carry the football this year more than he did last year. Cedric is going to have less carries at the end of the year. But hopefully he’s going to have 16 games where he carries the football and on into whatever is after that."
Message to stop talking to the media, check. Deal with the fact you might not get the same amount of carries, check.
Benson can rest easy tonight, knowing that he single-handedly became the team's offense.
"It's my kind of game; I love it," Benson said. "No flashy plays, no big plays, but we won the game. The guys played hard, we got into a rhythm running the ball, and our defense played great."
Along with his 81 yards rushing, Benson scored both of Cincinnati's touchdowns; one on the ground, one through the air. His 27 carries increases his season total to 65 rushes, on pace for 347 carries for the season, or less than a three carry drop off from last year's carry/game average.