Bengals want to feel grounded

Bengals want to feel grounded
December 29, 2012, 2:45 am
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However long the starters are in for the Bengals in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Ravens, one thing Cincinnati wants to do is show that it can run the ball. That hadn’t been in much doubt over most of the second half of the season, but the performance last weekend against the Steelers — 14 yards on the ground — raised those doubts.

“We do have to try to establish some kind of running game going into the playoffs. That would be nice,” offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We had some good looks for some runs. We just didn’t quite get the movement or the run lanes we had hoped for.”

Gruden views the Ravens — despite their No. 24 league rank against the run — as a challenge, someone to test whether the Bengals have their rushing game in shape for the postseason.

“Baltimore’s the same type of defense, physicality up front. So it will be a great challenge, but one we’re not going to back away from,” Gruden said. “We’re not going to give up on it by any stretch. We’ve got to keep battling away and try to find ways to get some lanes and alleys. We’ll do the best we can as a staff to try to find those ways to run the ball.”

After all, the Bengals could end up facing the Ravens again just a week later in the first round of the playoffs. So they will have to have figured out how to carve out some room for BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who gained 91 yards against Baltimore in what turned out to be a rout by the Ravens earlier this season.