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Bengals RB Hill responds to critics with three TDs

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The Sports Xchange

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill did his best last week to tune out critics, including fans and fantasy owners.

On Sunday, Hill had to turn a deaf ear to his own quarterback, Andy Dalton.

“He was in my ear the whole game,” said Hill smiling, following Sunday’s 36-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. “Saying things like ‘sophomore slump’ and ‘you’re washed up.'”

Hill had endured a rough couple weeks after fumbling twice against San Diego and largely being a non-factor in a win at Baltimore. He saw limited duty in both those games.

But on Sunday, Hill was back to running with the same punishing style which last season produced 1,124 yards and nine TDs on an average of 5.1 yards per carry.

Hill rushed for 40 yards on nine carries on Sunday against the Chiefs and scored three touchdowns along with a two-point conversion run.

He averaged 4.4 yards per carry, including one 10-yard rush.

Dalton wasn’t going to take credit for Hill’s performance, but it was evident in his postgame press conference on Sunday that the Bengals’ QB enjoyed his motivational tactics.

“I kept asking him, ‘Where’s Jeremy Hill?’, ‘Where’s Jeremy Hill?,'” Dalton said. “Jeremy played like he’s capable (of playing) today. We haven’t forgotten what he brings to this team. Things just haven’t gone his way a couple of times this season. Those things happen. Big day for him today.”

Hill’s backfield mate, Gio Bernard, ran for 62 yards and a score as Cincinnati maintained its customary offensive balance with 26 rushes and 24 pass attempts.

After he scored Cincinnati’s first touchdown on Sunday, Hill chose to forego one of his signature touchdown dances and instead offered a traditional yet emphatic spike in the end zone.

“It’s been a minute since I got in there,” Hill said. “It was important for us to start fast. That’s what we preach, get that momentum early.”

As for Hill’s fantasy owners: “They were ready to crucify me last week,” he said. “I can’t pay attention to any of that stuff.”

REPORT CARD VS. CHIEFS

–PASSING OFFENSE: A. The best start to a season in quarterback Andy Dalton’s career continued on Sunday. Dalton completed his first 10 pass attempts finishing 17 of 24 for 321 yards and a touchdown for a 127.1 quarterback rating. He also orchestrated the offense masterfully as the Bengals averaged 8.9 yards per play while marinating their signature balance with 26 rushes and 24 pass attempts. And Dalton wasn’t sacked or hurried in Sunday’s game against a formidable KC defensive front.

–RUSHING OFFENSE: B. Jeremy Hill looked more like Jeremy Hill on Sunday, rushing for 40 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns. He also powered his way into the end zone for a two-point conversion late in the game. Gio Bernard led the team with 62 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. Cincinnati averaged 4.8 yards per rush.

–PASS DEFENSE: B. Chiefs QB Alex Smith passed for 386 yards and WR Jeremy Maclin had 13 catches for 148 yards. What’s missing? Yep, touchdowns, because there weren’t any. Cincinnati sacked Smith five times and hurried him on 10 occasions while holding the Chiefs to seven field goals.

–RUN DEFENSE: C plus. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles was a weapon both in the passing and running games on Sunday. He averaged 6.8 yards per carry while rushing for 75 yards on 11 carries, including one 24-yard run. Kansas City ran for 113 yards averaging 4.9 per carry. But, again no touchdowns.

–SPECIAL TEAMS: B. Mike Nugent missed a 44-yard field goal but punter Kevin Huber flipped field position with a majestic 67-yard punt. Huber averaged 47.7 yards on three punts.

–COACHING: A. The Bengals coaching staff exploited Kansas City’s weaknesses up front and managed to sack QB Alex Smith five times and apply pressure throughout most of the game. On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati held KC’s vaunted pass rush to zero sacks. When the Chiefs’ defense bracketed WR A.J. Green, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson made adjustments to exploit openings for WRs Mohamed Sanu and Brandon Tate. Despite a 3-0 start and playing at home, the Bengals were prepared and played like a team intent on avoiding the obligatory “trap game”.


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