The Vikings are playing an unfamiliar opponent this Sunday at Mall of America Field – it’ll be just the 11th time the Vikings and Bengals have hooked up. But the starting RB for Cincinnati is one with whom the Vikings are familiar.
Cedric Benson was a 1st round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 2005. At that time, it looked as if the Vikings would be contending with one of the league’s elite backs for many years to come.
But that’s not how it panned out. Benson would up playing in just 4 games against the Vikings as a Bear and he registered only 164 yards and 1 TD on 39 attempts – an average of 41 yards per game.
Benson was a bust with the Bears, but he’s booming with the Bengals.
He signed with the Bengals last season before Week 5 and had moderate success. This season, however, Benson has come into form and is now averaging 4.0 yards per carry and has 6 TDs on the season.
Benson is closing in on his first career 1,000-yard season – he is currently just 31 yards away. And that makes for an intriguing matchup this weekend. He’ll face a Vikings defense that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 35 games.
In years past, it’d be a safe bet that Benson would struggle to reach the career milestone this weekend against the Vikings. This year, however, is a different story. Benson is a threat and the Vikings must be at their best to challenge the 2005 first round pick.
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