Bengals must get things going on the ground in week 3
Through two weeks of the 2019 NFL season, the Bengals have been playing football without a run game. At least, that's how it seems.
Cincinnati struggled mightily on the ground in week one against the Seattle Seahawks. Their lead back, Joe Mixon, garnered just 1.7 yards per carry before exiting the game, and the team as a whole finished the day with 34 total rushing yards (one-third of them coming on one run from Gio Bernard).
As terrible as the Bengals were on the ground against the Seahawks, they were even worse in week two. Cincinnati averaged a dismal 1.3 yards per carry against the San Francisco 49ers this past weekend, as they rushed 19 times for just 25 yards.
The Bengals sit at dead last in the league in rushing 1/8 of the way through the season with just 29.5 yards per game so far. This is nearly 200 yards less per game than the pace that the Baltimore Ravens are currently at (223.5 per game). The league mean is 105.0 rushing yards per game.
Being able to run the ball is critical to the success of a football team. In fact, the four teams currently averaging under 65.0 rushing yards per game have combined for a 0-8 record so far this season.
Last year, the Bengals averaged just over 105 rushing yards per game. Though I certainly see them rising from their dismal 29.5 rushing yards per game average, it remains to be seen if the Bengals can get anything going on the ground.
This week, Cincinnati will take on the Buffalo Bills on the road. The Bills are currently the 10th ranked team against the run, and they are off to a surprising 2-0 start to the season.
It's a give and take relationship between the running backs and the offensive line, but the Bengals need to find a way to start carving out lanes on the ground if they want to stay competitive this season.