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Bengals vs Bills: Giovani Bernard makes a significant impact

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard secured 73 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown to give the Bengals a 14-7 lead against the Buffalo Bills.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Running back Giovani Bernard is simply a weapon among an arsenal that's difficult for opposing defenses to identify. Explain to me how the Bengals secure a 34-21 win over the Buffalo Bills and their biggest weapon, the highly-paid A.J. Green, only generated four receptions for 36 yards receiving.

Yet, they can.

There's Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, and to a lesser degree, Mohamed Sanu. Running back Jeremy Hill has struggled and we still have only mentioned Green in passing.

In the end, Giovani Bernard might be Cincinnati's most dynamic weapon. Why? Simply put, he's the weapon that offenses fail to account for. It's clear when Jeremy Hill, who spends more time dancing and jump-stepping east-to-west as opposed to burying his northerly head through the line of scrimmage, is struggling. Yet, when Hill is in the game, defenses play the run. When Bernard is in the game, they tend to account for the pass, but they're more balanced -- which allows for more room for Bernard to run.

With 10:24 remaining in the second quarter, Andy Dalton surveys the defense and adjusts and shouts commands to presumably adjust the play. Dalton takes the shotgun snap and hands off to Bernard in a read-option.

Bernard wasn't touched.

Giovani Bernard Bills TD

Giovani Bernard Bills TD

The touchdown gave Cincinnati a 14-7 lead; a lead that Cincinnati would never relinquish.

Yet, obviously Bernard's threat is far more dynamic. Earlier during the possession, with 11:48 remaining in the second quarter, Bernard hauls in an Andy Dalton swing pass and sprints 23 yards, largely because Buffalo's offense failed to account for him.

Giovani Bernard Bills TD

Bernard, who leads Cincinnati with 427 yards rushing during the regular season, finished the game with 73 yards from scrimmage on nine touches and is currently on pace for 1,456 yards of total offense.