Bernard has one thing on his mind heading into Week 5: going 5-0. Does he care what the media has to say? Nope. He's just focussed on the facts.
The Bengals' running game started the afternoon strong against the Kansas City Chiefs and never let up.
Giovani Bernard had 13 runs for 62 yards and a touchdown with an average carry of 4.8 yards. Bernard's yards per carry continue to be higher than Jeremy Hill's, despite Hill scoring three touchdowns against the Chiefs. The Bengals' running backs combined for 22 touches, 102 yards, and four touchdowns in Week 4, helping the Bengals to achieve a 34-21 win.
Through one quarter of the season, Bernard has put up strong numbers. His 297 rushing yards this year rank sixth in the NFL, his 5.5 yards per attempt rank third and his 74.3 average yards per game rank eighth among all running backs. Bernard's rushing yardage is nearly double that of Jeremy Hill's (163) with only four more attempts (54 to Hill's 50). But none of that is what really matters to Bernard.
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"We're 4-0, that's all that matters right now," Bernard said after Sunday's game. "We're coming to watch this film up tomorrow, get past and learn from what we did wrong. Get ready for 5-0 and get ready for Seattle."
Through three games heading into their matchup with the Bengals, the Chiefs had yet to allow a rushing touchdown. That quickly changed on Sunday when Bernard scored his first touchdown of the season against and Hill complemented that effort with three touchdowns of his own.
"There's times when controversy came up during the game, you just gotta battle back," Bernard said. "I think, really last week against Baltimore was one of the real big turning points of our season, we battle with a team from our division that we know how good they are week in and week out and we just battle with them. Since last week, we kinda know what we have on our side. We just have to go out there and really show it."
Though 4-0 is what's most important, Bernard does keep track of his stats and the Bengals' offense has goals for what they hope to achieve each week.
"We know our statistics. Our goal every game is 160 yards rushing, for the offense," Bernard said. "I don't know if we got up to that, but I hope we did, or we’ll get an earful tomorrow."
They actually didn't get 160 yards rushing in Week 4. The Bengals have only had more than 160 yards rushing on one occasion so far this season, the Week 2 matchup with the Chargers. During that game, the Bengals had 175 yards rushing with 123 of those yards coming from Bernard.
Bernard has 297 total rushing yards through four games, while Hill has 163. No other running back has recorded any rushing yards for the Bengals. In terms of rushing statistics, Andy Dalton adds to the stats with 37 yards, Marvin Jones has 9 and Mohamed Sanu, 6.
With that being said, it's obvious how lethal the Bengals' offense in both the rushing and passing game can be.
"We know how dangerous we are, we know the type of playmakers that we are, and not only us, the entire offensive side," Bernard said. "Andy has really done a great job this entire season of really controlling us and getting us to the right places, calling the right reads. After that, we just have to get going after that. He is really commanding this offense, he's doing a great job of it. He's our leader and we know that, he's our offensive guy and we follow him."
The Bengals have a clear goal right now: keep winning. Bernard knows that and isn't getting distracted.
"No," Bernard said definitively when asked if he cares what other people think of the Bengals after going 4-0. "We're just focussed on Seattle. We know what type of players they are, we know what type of team they are. We just gotta go out there and show it next week."
Rebecca Toback | Cincyjungle.com | October 6, 2015