The National Football League began its week tonight, as the Cincinnati Bengals headed to the sunshine state to take on the Miami Dolphins. For North Carolina fans it was a chance to watch what rookie Giovani Bernard is doing at the next level. In his first season in the NFL the tail back has been doing very well, but tonight, it felt like he took it to the next level, and this touchdown run could be the reason why…
It seems that Bernard ran over 100 yards in that single play, making close to a half dozen Dolphins defenders miss, including Brent Grimes, who missed the tail back not once, but twice.
In all the former UNC stand out had 79 yards (on nine carries) on the ground, along with 25 yards (on four catches) through the air, making this the second time the rookie has had 100 yard games, while a third game he reached 99 yards overall. His two running touchdowns give him a total of six for the year.
With seven games remaining in the 2013 season Giovani Bernard has a total of 628 yards, and it would not be a huge stretch to see the Bengals running back end this campaign with well over a thousand yards combined, along with double digit scores. ESPN has “expected totals” for the 21 year old with 564 on the ground and 484 through the air, giving him a total of 1048. The world leader in sports sees the tail back also scoring eight touchdowns in all.
If in the end the numbers that are being predicted are close to realistic, and in my opinion could even get higher, as the Cincinnati franchise begins to give the first year pro the ball more and more, could the first year pro make a case for Rookie of the Year?
It would not be a far fetched idea to see that award being given to Bernard, as he has proven his worth to the Bengals on a weekly basis and has shown his skills plenty of times around the NFL, with excellent runs and great catches. If number 25 was not sharing the ball in the back field this would not even be a discussion, as you would have to believe that his numbers would be to at least 700-800 total yards at this point of the season.
The one negative on the night is that Bernard bruised his ribs in the last quarter of the game, which hurt the Bengals down the stretch, as Miami won the game in OT. However, from what is being reported the injury does not seem to be serious, and hopefully it won’t stop the tail back from being back on the gridiron next week.