Hill backs up talk as Bengals ground up Browns

BY foxsports • December 14, 2014

CLEVELAND -- Jeremy Hill drew some flak from the Browns and their fans when he said "they were probably worse that I thought" after the Bengals lost to them 24-3 on Nov. 6.

Hill backed up his words on Sunday, rushing for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Bengals pounded the Browns 30-0 at FirstEnergy Stadium. It is the 24th time that a rookie running back has rushed for 100 yards or more against the Browns but the first time it has been done against them by a Bengals back.

"I think we responded well this game. Those comments don't really mean much anymore," Hill said.

Said Browns linebacker Jabaal Sheard: "He did talk a lot but he backed it up with his play today. I don't want to say he did anything spectacular today; I think it was more on us. It was on us up front. We didn't get off our blocks and finish our tackles today."

Hill did do more to draw the ire of Browns fans after his two touchdowns. On the first one, a 2-yard run over left guard, Hill mimicked LeBron James' powder toss routine in front of the Dawg Pound.

During the second quarter, after stiff-arming Jim Leonhard and scoring from 16 yards out to put the Bengals up 17-0, Hill tried to leap into the stands before being pushed back by fans. Hill said he was trying to channel his inner Chad Ochocinco after seeing him do his Dawg Pound leap during a 2007 game.

"It was a pretty funny moment especially because we were winning and after all the stuff the past few weeks it was fun," Hill said. "I was trying to jump to the Bengals fans, but the guy just kind of pulled the Saints game and tried to snatch the ball away and he kind of just pushed me down. It's all fun and games."

With Hill as the lead back, the Browns established the running game early. On the 14-play, 81-yard opening drive, which took 7 minutes, 7 seconds off the clock, Hill got the ball on the first four plays and ended up having six carries for 29 yards on the drive.

"We said all along with (Johnny) Manziel starting and the buzz that was going to be in here the biggest key was going to be eliminating some of the energy in the building. A good drive was able to do that," offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "We were in first place in the division and I don't know if anyone knew we were playing them. We knew biggest key was going to be eliminating some of the energy in the building.

H-back Ryan Hewitt said the game plan was "to come out and punch them in the mouth and it helped us throughout the game."

It was the same formula the Browns used against the Bengals in the first meeting. This time it was the Bengals controlling the ground and the clock as 45 of their 71 offensive plays were runs. The 244 rushing yards is the second-most by the Bengals in the Marvin Lewis era.

"This game was about whether they were going to run it or we were going to run it," offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "We let them know what this day was going to be about and we kept doing it throughout the day."

Hill, who ran for 55 yards in the first game, had 57 in the first quarter and at halftime had 103 yards on 16 carries. Giovani Bernard had 79 yards, including 54 in the second half. It is the 25th time that a Bengals' back has rushed for over 100 yards in the Battle of Ohio.

It is also the third 100-yard game by Hill this season, which makes him the first Bengals rookie back since Corey Dillon in 1997 to have three or more. In his first game since being named the lead back, Hill showed that he could be the workhorse back the Bengals need down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Said Hill about being the lead back: "I think that's what I've been accustomed to my whole life, just being the guy and getting the bulk of the carries. Anytime I can do that I can feel the defense out and it's just stuff you really can't do if you're only getting five or six carries. You can feel things out, you can kind of see how some guys are tackling, things of that nature so you can just make adjustments on your own and in your mind. I think Hue (offensive coordinator Hue Jackson) did a great job getting me the ball and mixing things up."



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