In one of our pregame predictions Sunday morning, we wrote that the Cincinnati Bengals will surpass 200 yards rushing. Our reasoning was based on a two-step process... 1) the Bengals needed to give their passing game a huge assist and 2) the team was frustrated after their epic loss to New England (anything based on physical play will help work that out of their system).
We fell seven yards shy of that prediction.
With overtime providing 75 minutes during Sunday's 31-point tie, the Bengals rushing offense powered with 193 yards rushing and two touchdowns. It's the most yards that Cincinnati has gained on the ground since posting 221 yards against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 25, 2012.
Giovani Bernard led with 137 yards rushing on 18 carries, including an 89-yarder that gave Cincinnati a 14-7 lead with 11:50 remaining in the second quarter. However, as ESPN's beat writer Coley Harvey points out, if you remove the 89-yarder, Bernard only sported a 2.8 yard/rush average (48 yards on 17 carries).
Regardless, the performance is Bernard's first 100-yard milestone in his career -- he had a 99-yard effort last year against the Indianapolis Colts. He's the Bengals player to reach 100 yards rushing since BenJarvus Green-Ellis did it against the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 13, 2012.
Jeremy Hill added a three-yard touchdown, following Adam Jones' 97-yard kickoff return, tying the game at 31 with over four minutes remaining in regulation. The rookie did a little tribute to Ickey Woods.
"Ever since I got here, fans and people in this building have been asking me to do it. Then the commercial came out, and there’s been a lot of buzz. It’s good to get out there and have a little fun. Obviously we would like to win the game, but we just have to get back to practicing and working hard."
There's another comparison.
Through five games this season, Hill has generated three rushing touchdowns and is on pace for over nine scores. Woods scored five times after his first five NFL games, recording 15 during his rookie season. Hill probably won't score that many times, but the comparison is becoming apt.