The Bengals and their fans had had enough of running back Cedric Benson. He had had some nice statistics in his four years in Cincinnati, the most impressive being form the improbable 2009 playoff season when he put the team on his back and rode him to a division title. But, everyone grew tired of his poor attitude, his frequent fumbling problems and his inability to convert many short yardage situations made Benson expendable during this offseason.
He waited a long time to get an opportunity, and finally received one with the Green Bay Packers. Upon his arrival in Green Bay, Benson began setting fires to any bridges he had left with the Bengals organization because of a subtle stab he made to the media about the differences between the clubs. And, wouldn't you know it? His first game in a Packers uniform came against his former team.
Benson had decent stats in limited play, getting 38 yards on six carries. He had a few nice runs and seemingly ran with a purpose and a chip on his shoulder. It was obvious that he wanted to stick it to the Bengals and for the most part, he was successful. He stayed on his feet and didn't cough up the football--two things that plagued him during his tenure in Cincinnati. He did have trouble on a goal line carry where he got stuffed and didn't score a touchdown, which were familiar sights for Bengals fans.
His team also won the game, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Benson pop his mouth off again on the differences between the club, along with some passive-aggressive jab towards the Bengals choosing to go in another direction. But, for the immediate time-being, Benson was diplomatic.
"I’m like a kid in the candy store," said Benson after his 38 yards on six carries in the Packers' 27-13 victory over the Bengals. Asked about what he'll miss about Cincinnati, Benson was already getting nostalgic.
"Football. I was in Cincinnati to play football. Just the team," he said. "A lot of those guys are young guys, early-year guys on defense and offense as well. I’ve watched them grow and have seen them in their rookie years, seen them in their second years. Now, a lot of them are in their third or fourth years. They’ve progressed a lot.”
Aside from the bummer that came with what looked like a reinvigorated Benson, the Bengals couldn't do anything on the ground. What's more, the man who replaced Benson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been nursing a sore foot and we don't have any inkling as to how he'll look in Week One against the Ravens. He also fared well against a Bengals run defense that has been stellar through the first two preseason games.
Ultimately, it's just a meaningless preseason game. The Bengals aren't facing Benson in a regular season game this year, so the former Longhorn won't get a chance to stick it to his former mates this season when it matters. Still, it was a bittersweet sight to see Benson doing well on Thursday night after the struggles he had over the last two seasons.
Here are some of yesterday's stories to check out:
+ Scouts, Inc. came up with a list of the NFL's top-200 players. Four Bengals players made the list.
+ We wrote up a little history lesson for you all, chronicling the Bengals/Packers matchup over the years.
+ Speaking of history, Josh did a creative piece on Reggie White and his miraculous return to one of the match ups between the Packers and Bengals after sustaining what initially seemed like a serious injury.
+ There is an odd problem that has surfaced at M & T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.
+ Check out the supposedly illegal hit by Taylor Mays last night.
+ You can also see all of the game updates from the Packers/Bengals game.