The Stats Don't Lie, Week 10: Rashard Mendenhall vs. Cedric Benson

Steve SmithContributor INovember 11, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 09:  Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushes 34 yards for a first down against the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 9, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Steelers defeated the Broncos 28-10.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

In recent weeks I have made frequent use of stats to try to draw comparisons between Steeler players and the opposing team's defense. So here goes Rashard Mendenhall against the Bengals defense and Cedric Benson against the Steeler's defense:

Rashard Mendenhall (11th in total rushing yards)

Carries    Rush Yds       Rush Avg    Runs of 20+ Yds      % Rush for 1st down  

   100           573                5.7                  7                                 25

Cincinnati's's Rush Defense (2nd rushing defense)

Rushing Att      Att/Game     Yds       Avg    Yds/Gm      TD      1st Down%

       177               22.1            671        3.8        83.9          4            23.2

AND

Cedric Benson (2nd in total Rushing yards )

Carries       Rush Yds   Rush Avg    Runs of 20+ Yds      % Rush for 1st down  

   198              420             4.2                    7                              17.7

Pittsburgh's Rush Defense (1st Rushing defense)

Rushing Att      Att/Game     Yds       Avg    Yds/Gm      TD      1st Down%

       154                19.2            563        3.7        83.9          2            16.9

So who will have a better game?

A running back with a 4.2 yards per carry average against a top-ranked rush defense or Mendenhall with a 5.7 yards per carry average against the second-ranked rush defense?

For the record: Mendenhall's 5.7 yds per carry is second only to the Titan's Chris Johnson and his 6.7 yds per carry (Rushers with over 100 attempts).

It appears that the running games could be very evenly matched and it might come down to the stark differences in the passing game.

For more on that please see the upcoming: The Stats Don't Lie, Week 10: Big Ben Vs. Carson Palmer

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