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Cedric Benson

Once considered an embarrassing bust by the Chicago Bears, it’s certainly seems as if Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson has completely and thoroughly rejuvenated his career in the Queen City. The question is, is it safe for Bengals fans to believe in Benson or will he relapse to the form and poor choices that doomed his stay with the Bears? While the jury is still out, here are some reasons to to believe:

Since Week 15 of last season (counting the new season as well), Benson has rushed for 648 in six games, putting him on a pace for 1600-yard 16-game season. That’s Adrian Peterson-like, and I’m not talking about his back up in Chicago either. Three games into the 2009 season and Benson is averaging over four yards a carry and has cracked the 100-yard mark once already. Not only that, but he’s scored two touchdowns for Bengals, one of them being a rather large contribution during their win over the Steelers.

Not only was the touchdown huge, his 4.8 YPC against the vaunted Steelers defense was as well. As the video shows, Benson has been running hard, getting tough yards and has been durable. This is the antithesis of his stay in Chicago. Next question, is it safe for Bengals fans to become true Benson believers? Or does 15 games — remember, he didn’t play until Week 5 last season because run-ins with the aqua-law can have repercussions — wipe the slate clean?

By Week 9 of last season (4 games since his return), Benson had collected his first 100-yard game, and has been very efficient since, save for a three-game stretch against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

I think he can be forgiven for those games, considering the defenses.

Another bonus, Benson has only had one turnover since his return, a fumble against Cleveland, a game Cincinnati ultimately won (Benson had a fumble against Kansas City in the final game of the season, but it was recovered by the offense). Considering his strong finish to last season, his great start to 2009 — save a missed block or two, although, that didn’t rear its head against the Steelers like it did against Green Bay and Denver — is his stock high enough to believe?

Or do the waters of Big Bone Lick State Park beckon, inviting him to enjoy his recent successes?