Green Bay Packers: 5 Reasons Cedric Benson Will Dominate This Season
Many people are quick to overlook Benson's career on-field achievements because of his unfortunate brushes with the law.
While his character as a man is definitely in question, his production as a running back is still at a high level.
He has signed a one-year deal this season to carry the ball for the Green Bay Packers and is likely to be running with a big chip on his shoulder.
Many teams would be remiss to think Benson won't be a force this season—let's take a look at the reasons why.
Benson is riding a three-year wave of consecutive 1,000-plus yards rushing and he accomplished that as a main part of those Cincinnati Bengal teams where he was their only legitimate offensive spark.
He's now with a team that has an explosive offense and the reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers directing traffic.
His off-field activities haven't affected his on-field production the last few years, and he's shown no indication that he won't continue to impose his hard-nosed running style this season.
NFC North Familiarity
Benson's first three NFL seasons with the Bears were nothing to alert the Hall of Fame about, but it is noteworthy to point out the consistent growth and production he had playing in the NFC North.
As a rookie, he rushed for 272 yards, following that up with 647 yards in 2006, and 674 yards in 2007, his final year in Chicago.
Returning to the NFC North as a 29-year-old proven veteran running back can only aid his dominance this season.
Element of Surprise
It's hard to miss a 5'11", 227-pound downhill running behemoth like Benson, but he is likely to catch a lot of defenses out of position.
How is this possible?
Simple—Teams will be forced to prepare for Aaron Rodgers' aerial-assault game, and Benson will be able to exploit soft coverages.
Jason Starrett of ESPN Stats & Information, provided a chart detailing Benson's most impressive rushes, in this ESPN article by Kevin Seifert.
Cedric Benson: Career Rushes of 12+ Yards
|Source: ESPN Stats & Information|
Benson in Green Bay's offense could be the perfect storm for Cedric.
Benson has played in 83 games since his sophomore year in the league—a contributing reason to why he's put up such huge numbers.
His bruising style of running can aid a struggling offense and keep defenses honest.
While he wasn't successful at running the ball effectively in Week 1, Benson was quoted as being optimistic about the timing with his offensive line in this Foxsports.com article.
''I think we're there now,'' Benson said. ''I think you're going to see a lot of progression.''
When Benson and the Packers offensive line figure out the right formula, it'll be fun to watch Benson bowl over defenses.
It's not often that you see a running back dropped from a team after rushing for 1,067 yards the season before.
That's exactly what the Bengals did.
They simply grew tired of his negative distractions and string of arrests.
While Green Bay isn't a run-heavy team, Benson is there on a one-year deal looking to prove his value, and he'll be playing for another contract.
Anytime a player in any sport is playing for a contract, they usually play up to, or beyond, their capabilities.
For all these reasons, look for Benson to dominate.