Green-Ellis becomes a big-play Bengal

December, 13, 2012
12/13/12
10:40
AM ET
When the Cincinnati Bengals signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis in free agency, the biggest knock on the running back was his lack of explosiveness. That's not a criticism any longer.

Over the last four games, Green-Ellis has had five rushes for at least 20 yards, which is tied for most in the NFL. Prior to that, he only had six such runs combined in his previous 62 games, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Green-Ellis has always been known as a tough runner. His high number of touchdowns in the red zone proves that. It's that same toughness that is helping him break long runs. His 197 yards after contact over the last four games ranks second in the NFL behind Adrian Peterson. That's pretty good company there.

The Eagles, who have the 17th-ranked run defense, will try to slow down Green-Ellis on Thursday night. But run defenses haven't been the ones who have stopped Green-Ellis. He was on his way for his fourth straight 100-yard game last Sunday against Dallas before the Bengals decided to get away from the running game.

After the Cowboys closed to within 19-17 with 6:35 remaining, Cincinnati chose to call five straight passing plays. Dalton was sacked on the last one, which forced the Bengals to punt and give the ball to the Cowboys for the winning drive.

My guess is the Bengals won't forget about Green-Ellis in the fourth quarter tonight if they have a lead.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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