After watching Giovani Bernard contribute two offensive touchdowns for the Cincinnati Bengals in their 20-10 win on Monday night, it appears that the team team may have found the perfect compliment for BenJarvus Green-Ellis out of the backfield. Both players provide very different styles out of the backfield, giving the Bengals with the type of varied approach that leaves defenses on their heels throughout games.
It can be expected that Green-Ellis will take most of the snaps during the 2013 season as he is a proven running back in the NFL and brings a physically tough style that is extremely hard to stop throughout a game. During last season, he ran for 1094 yards and six touchdowns, becoming a good compliment for the big-play potential to wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham possess.
But while Green-Ellis was very valuable for his ability to move the chains through shorts gains, the lack of a big-play threat out of the backfield held the Bengals back somewhat.
Bernard will be able to come in and provide a differing look to Green-Ellis as a threat both from the backfield and in the receiving game, with the two even being able to feature in the backfield at the same time. Monday night’s game was a perfect indication of this dual threat capability that Bernard brings as he picked up one touchdown each on the ground and in the air, building on a trend from his days at the University of North Carolina.
While at UNC, he ran for 2481 yards and had 852 receiving yards over two seasons, picking up 31 touchdowns along the way. While Bernard may be a rookie, running backs in the NFL are often at their physical prime right when they enter the league, and with Green-Ellis still in the fold, there will not be a heap of pressure thrown on him to be the no. 1 back anytime soon.
If Bernard is able to live up to the potential that he showed on Friday and provide a compliment for Green-Ellis, then the Bengals could very well have one of the best offenses in the NFL during the 2013 season. After all, they already have a proven passing game led by quarterback Andy Dalton, Green and Gresham, who can only be expected to improve with the added variation.
If Monday night was any indication of the future, one can expect the 2013 season to be a good one in Cincinnati.