Cedric Benson said ‘Give me the ball’ during the week of practices leading up to Sunday’s game against Carolina. And he got it, as the Bengals gutted out a mistake-filled 20-7 road victory against the winless Panthers behind Benson’s wheels, his pair of touchdowns, and an opportunistic Cincinnati defense.
Playing on a soggy Bank of America Stadium field that soaked up some rain before the contest, Benson had the pigskin placed in his belly, he had it pitched to him, he had it given to him at arm’s length and thrown to him as the Bengals played to win the field-position game.
Article continues below ...
Benson touched the ball 29 times, 27 by land and two by air. He looked comfortable banging into the Panthers’ defensive line like a battering ram. He rushed for 81 yards. He nimbly hauled in passes like it was second nature to him, which it isn’t. Benson averaged about 15 receptions per season during his first five years in the league with no touchdown catches.
That changed on Sunday.
But will it get Benson the number of carries he prefers, as he requested last week through the media? Not if you listen to coach Lewis, who said after the game: “He won