The Bengals’ long-term future in short yardage could be seen on that third-and-one from the Bengals 34 Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Running back Jeremy Hill made his first appearance with the Bengals first-team offense this preseason and lined up behind rookie fullback. Hill followed Hewitt for five yards, a veritable football field against a Cardinals defense that until Hill came into the game and ran for three yards on an earlier play had allowed Giovani Bernard no yards on five carries.
The third-down run seemed to ignite them on their way to two field goals on drives that gobbled nearly 10 minutes of the second quarter and set up a 19-13 victory.
“I want to know who we are. There were other things on the sheet I could have called,’ said offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. “But I wanted to find out who we are and I think I’m beginning to know who we are.”
Hill has moved he chains no matter what unit he’s played this summer. He came into the game averaging 5.8 yards per carry and he matched it with four more lugs in the first half against a Cardinals front that led the NFL against the rush last season. Eventually Hill is going to take carries from BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who missed Sunday's game due to being sick. It will be interesting to see who the RB2 is once the season starts.