Reason for Bengals' improved run game

It took 10 games for the Cincinnati Bengals to get running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis over 100 yards. Now, he's gone over that mark in back-to-back weeks for the first time of his career.

Green-Ellis produced a season-high 129 yards rushing last Sunday, which included two of the longest runs of his career (48 and 39 yards).

So, what's the reason behind the Bengals' improved run game? The offensive line.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Green-Ellis rushed for 96 yards before contact against the Raiders, his highest total of the season. That shows how much the blocking up front has opened clear running lanes for Green-Ellis.

In his previous 10 games, Green-Ellis had gained over 96 rushing yards total (before and after contact) just once. This is the most yards before contact for Green-Ellis since the start of the 2009 season.

"Confidence plays a big role," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. "Those guys love to run the ball and it takes the pressure off the quarterback. When you have success running the ball, guys come off (the snap) harder. You can see our running game fluctuates from week to week, but they are buying into the system and doing a great job."

The Bengals play at San Diego, which has the NFL's fifth-ranked run defense. But the Ravens' Ray Rice gained 97 yards against the Chargers last Sunday.