Can the Bengals keep up this pace?
On Monday, Cincinnati Bengals beat reporter Geoff Hobson of PhiladelphiaEagles.com stopped by the Pro Football Focus show hosted by Mike Clay on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio (10 a.m. ET weekdays – Sirius 210 & XM 87). Hobson talked about the Bengals’ backfield distribution, the emergence of Marvin Jones, and more. You can find Hobson on Twitter @GeoffHobsonCin.
A situational backfield
Jeremy Hill has not gotten off to the start that fantasy managers expected when they invested a first-round pick in the second-year running back. What’s going on with Jeremy Hill?
“He’s come out of the gate slow, and the decision to not play him much in Week 3 was matchup-based. He’s come out a little sluggish, but when they are behind, it will be a Gio Bernard game. The rest of the year, the backfield is going to go by opponent and situation. Game script is going to dictate a lot of it.”
With the Chiefs, Seahawks and Bills up next on the schedule, we could be seeing a lot more of Bernard these next three.
Is it possible for Hill to get back to 20 touches per game when the weather turns?
“He’s built in that mold, but he’s a little tentative right now. They’d like to see him run with that abandon. But you’re right, the December weather is suited for him.”
Can the offense keep up with this pace?
The Bengals have graded out as our fourth-best offense overall through three weeks. They have the second-most yards per game in the NFL and they are averaging the seventh-most points per game. What is so different about this team from ones we’ve seen in the past, and can they keep it up?
“I think the X factor is not only Tyler Eifert, but it’s Marvin Jones and Hue Jackson. If you give Jackson weapons, he’s proven that he will get his quarterbacks to produce. There’s a clear difference when Marvin is in the lineup, and he just opens everything up.”
Is Jones ahead in the pecking order of Sanu?
Jones has played 24 more snaps and he has ran 11 more pass plays than Mohamed Sanu so far this season. From their snap counts, it would seem that the Bengals have a timeshare at the No. 2 wide receiver position. Hobson doesn’t see it that way at all.
“There’s no question he’s (Jones) the No. 2 receiver. Although Hue moves these guys around a lot, Marvin is the classic 1A receiver.”
IDP alert: rookie on the radar
Will we see any of rookie Paul Dawson this season?
“If the starters keep tackling like this, yes, you’ll see Dawson. I think at some point, you will. Vinny Rey is running on fumes, taking every snap, and with Vontaze Burfict you don’t know. They’ve only got six linebackers. At some point they’re going to have to lighten the load.”
Dawson dropped to the end of the third round of the NFL Draft due to his size and off field concerns, but he graded out as the best inside linebacker per College Football Focus metrics. Keep him on your radar if injuries start to pile up for the Bengals at linebacker.