According to Football Outsiders statistics (by way of Shutdown Corner), Bengals running back Cedric Benson is one of the worst third-down backs in the league. Determined only the way that Football Outsiders figures it, they take a running back's third down DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). Matt Forte posted the worse DVOA (-83.7) by rushing for 10 yards on 16 carries for a 13% success rate.
Benson rated as eighth-worst, generating a -20.9 DVOA, rushing for 58 yards on 24 carries for a 54% success rate.
Not really a big surprise here; Benson has always been a boom-and-bust back. It just so happened as the Bengals' offense splintered in different directions and nobody seems on the same page, his overall metrics got worse. It will be interesting to see if he can rebound with an offense that does have some more impressive newer moving parts.
Benson's inclusion puts him with names like Chicago's Forte, Seattle's Marshawn Lynch, Denver's Correll Buckhalter, Buffalo's Fred Jackson, Miami's Ronnie Brown, Kansas City's Thomas Jones, St. Louis' Steven Jackson, Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew and New York's Ahmad Bradshaw.
(about to be former) Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer posted one of the worst DVOA's when it comes to quarterbacks scrambling for first downs; a group that includes Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick being the worst.
Whenever the new league year begins, Benson will become a free agent. Marvin Lewis has admitted that he's a high priority free agency signing.