Jeremy Hill was expected to have a big season after breaking out at the end of last year, but that hasn’t happened yet. Luckily for the Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton has been stepping up and playing a huge role for the offense this season. Heading into a key game in Week 5 against the Seattle Seahawks, the Bengals need Hill to come through with a big game to help take some pressure off of Dalton.
Throughout the first four week of the season, Hill has carried the football 50 times for 163 yards and five touchdowns. His biggest issue has been fumbling and he has fumbled twice already.
Despite those numbers, there is no question that the 22-year-old is still a star in the making. The Bengals are sitting at 4-0 on the season and they have done it without him playing to his full potential. Thinking about how good they could be with him being the franchise running back that he was last season is a scary thought.
At 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, there aren’t many more intimidating running backs in the NFL.
Hill definitely has the ability to be an every down workhorse running back and put up 100-yard games any time that he touches the field. Consistency is something that young players have to find, especially in their second seasons when teams start loading up the box on them.
Seattle has improved their defense drastically with bringing safety Kam Chancellor back after his long holdout. He made the game winning play against the Detroit Lions by forcing a fumble against Calvin Johnson as he was about to dive into the end zone. That play alone could have been exactly what the doctor ordered to get the Seahawks’ defense back on track.
Cincinnati is one of the teams that looks like they have made the type of big improvements to get themselves back in legitimate contention in the AFC.
Dalton has been running a much more high-powered offense than he has in years past. The Bengals believe that they can knock off Seattle on their home field and improve to 5-0 on the season. It will take a balanced offensive attack, however, with Hill being asked to shoulder a good chunk of the offensive load.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the Bengals can stay perfect on the season against a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Hill has to figure out a way to get back to being a legitimate 100-yard running back each and every week.
Expect to see the Bengals hand the football to him early and often throughout the game this week and to see Hill bounce back and get his season back on track.