One of the more disappointing preseason storylines is Cincinnati's struggles running the football. It wasn't so bad against the New York Jets for Cincinnati's running backs, generating 83 yards rushing on 30 carries. But then you grab the calculator and factor the 2.8 yards/rush average into your disgusted conclusion, which isn't much worse than BenJarvus Green-Ellis' 3.1 yard/rush average (excluding the 12-yard run, six carries for 10 yards) during the first preseason game.
It gets worse.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has missed the previous two games and Bernard Scott hasn't played a preseason down yet this year (and not expected to at all).
Against the Falcons Bruce Gradkowski (31), Zac Robinson (18) and Marvin Jones (16) were the team's leading rushers. Similarly Andy Dalton's 36 yards rushing against the Green Bay Packers is more than the 32 yards combined by Brian Leonard, Cedric Peerman, Aaron Brown, Dan Herron and Jourdan Brooks. Leonard has also single-handedly proven that he's not an ideal feature running back, despite the acceleration of praise from some due to his historically zany third down production.
Now you could say "it's just the preseason", as we tend to comfort ourselves with during disappointing moments of the exhibition season. Not that we mention "it's just preseason" when the Bengals do something great, right? However one could factor the Bengals offensive line issues in the running game, excellent opposing defenses, preseason manila offenses and a concerning passing game, which isn't spreading the field. We wouldn't have an issue distributing the blame to every aspect of the team; kind of the generality of in this great sport.
But are you concerned?