Some games, you just have to win with grit, and Samaje Perine helped the Cincinnati Bengals do just that on Sunday.
The team’s backup running back had two receiving touchdowns before Joe Mixon was ruled out with a head injury, and Perine continued to play a big factor in the offense en route to the 37-30 win.
Perine ended with 11 carries and 30 rushing yards to go along with his four receptions and 52 receiving yards. The most important stat of the day though was his three receiving touchdowns in a game that was decided by only one score.
Trenton Irwin (imagine that — Irwin and Perine, not Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd) had Joe Burrow’s other touchdown. Burrow ended with four touchdowns and two interceptions off batted balls along with his 355 passing yards.
The 27-year-old backup entered the day without a rushing touchdown (five on his career) and with one receiving touchdown this season. That came against the Jets in a 27-12 Week 3 victory for Cincinnati.
Perine had a receiving touchdown with Washington as a rookie in 2017, then got another last season as well. He commenced the season with two receiving scores and entered this game with three.
His use over the last two and a half years is what makes this spectacular performance that much better. Perine will arguably assume a large workload moving forward if Mixon misses time, which seems unclear at the moment after he left this game with a head injury that was later determined to be a concussion.
Nonetheless, Perine and the Bengals should be encouraged by what they saw today, especially against a Steelers team that did have defensive end TJ Watt in action. This was a big-time win for Cincinnati, one that many considered to be a must-win game.
And it was an even bigger performance from the backup running back!
Oh, and Perine is obviously a must-add in fantasy football leagues this week, especially if Mixon is out.