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Top Plays of 2014, No. 3: Hill power run defines Bengals offense

Since the Cincinnati Bengals have a bye week, we're presented with a little inaction and not much midseason material to review. We've revealed No. 4 and 5. Let's talk about No. 3... a play that was meaningless in the game, but defined a young season.

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

And as we just promoted the idea that pretty plays without substance are neglected in our top-plays, Jeremy Hill's four-yard touchdown against the Tennessee Titans expanded a 26-point lead to 33 with over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. In truth, Hill's touchdown was meaningless... the Titans weren't going to mount a 26-point comeback to tie the game.

Yet this one was pretty.


This is the type of play that has defined Cincinnati this year.

Dominating. Perseverance. Resolve. When stuffed at the line of scrimmage, Hill finds a way. His offensive line finds a way. It was one of the team's best rushing performances this year with Giovani Bernard and Hill combining for three rushing touchdowns. And that was a week after Bernard and Hill combined for 164 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns.

Cincinnati entered the bye week tied for the league lead with five rushing touchdowns. Their yardage numbers are creeping up, despite a frustratingly low yardage/rush average -- though most of that is the result of a handful of no-gains (or negative plays) by Giovani Bernard during mop-up duty.

Either way, Cincinnati's rushing effort is one of the reasons for the Bengals resurgence on offense.

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