Football Outsiders: Stop Running To The Left

Andy Lyons

More evidence suggests that Andy Dalton should audible Jay Gruden's plays if he calls a run to the left.

During Cincinnati's all-consuming three-game losing streak, the Bengals rushing offense hasn't generated a yard north of 80 during any. In fact Cincinnati has only managed to reach the 90-yard "milestone" only three times, twice over the illustrious one hundred and even during one of those three-digit milestones, the Bengals were crushed by 31 points to the Baltimore Ravens. Come to think of it, the other 100-yard performance included a steroid injecting 48-yard run on Cedric Peerman's fake punt.

Let's just go ahead and beat this into the bloody ground. This is only the second time during Marvin Lewis' tenure that he didn't have a 100-yard rusher after the first seven games -- the other being 2008... sh**. Not cool. [Note: Rudi Johnson generated 101 yards during the seventh game in 2003]

Bengals first 100-yard rusher during a given season.
SEASON WEEK OPP. DATE BACK YRD TD
2003 Eight (Seventh Game) Seattle Oct. 26 Rudi Johnson 101 1
2004 Four @Steelers Oct. 3 Rudi Johnson 123 1
2005 One @ Browns Sept. 11 Rudi Johnson 126 1
2006 Two Browns Sept. 17 Rudi Johnson 145 2
2007 Two @ Browns Sept. 16 Rudi Johnson 118 0
2008 Nine Jaguars Nov. 2 Cedric Benson 104 1
2009 Two @ Packers Sept. 20 Cedric Benson 141 0
2010 Five Buccaneers Oct. 10 Cedric Benson 144 0
2011 One @ Browns Sept. 11 Cedric Benson 121 1

Equally confusing is their tendency to run to the left -- a point we drilled two weeks ago.

Ditching the boring statistical averages for a moment, when the Bengals run between the guards, Cincinnati is producing an Adjusted Line Yard average of 4.25, which ranks third in the NFL according to Football Outsiders.

A dominating measure of Clint Boling and Kevin Zeitler. Target rushing lanes further to Zeitler's right and the Bengals are producing a top-ten effort.

Forget running it left. Their ALY value fixates a meal of dead rats as the league's worst behind Andrew Whitworth, extending outside of him.

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