Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill continues mounting a case for rookie of the year.
Hill became the first Bengals rookie since Corey Dillon to surpass 1,000 yards rushing during Monday Night's win over the Denver Broncos. With 106 yards rushing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he could break Dillon's rookie record of 1,129 yards rushing.
However, the timing of his 85-yard touchdown was impeccable. Denver took a 7-0 lead on a pick-six by Aqib Talib in the first four minutes and 17 seconds. Groans of "here we go again" echoed through the halls of Paul Brown Stadium.
Only that Jeremy Hill did something that previous primetime games didn't have... he provided a response.
The play tied the game at seven and electrified a stadium that gave Cincinnati's defense a boost, who held Denver to four first half punts, an interception and missed field goal. Previously when Cincinnati faced primetime adversity, it was usually a snowball effect. One costly mistake after another.
Instead Hill, who finished 147 yards rushing and a touchdown, stopped the potential floodgates and recovered the momentum that Cincinnati had a near-monopoly on.
Words can't describe the way I'm feeling right now I love my coaches, teammates, and the fans #StayTurnt my friends pic.twitter.com/1yNtr47eqw— Jeremy Hill (@JeremyHill33) December 23, 2014
The performance also marks the fourth game this season that Hill has reached 140 yards rushing or more, becoming only the third rookie in NFL history to accomplish that. His other 140-plus yard performances were against the Jaguars (154 yards, two touchdowns), the Saints (152 yards) and Cleveland (148 yards, two touchdowns) last week.
The former second-rounder was awarded with the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award, as well as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. He heads into the regular season finale with 1,024 yards rushing, nine touchdowns and a 5.1 yard/rush average.