Jeremy Hill senses better days ahead for him, Bengals' rushers

Jeremy Hill struggled against the Ravens, but fellow running back Giovani Bernard believes the Bengals are at their best when both players are running well. Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports

CINCINNATI -- Jeremy Hill knows his play from the first three games this season has been largely uninspiring. He doesn't need to consult his fantasy football roster to see that.

To this point, part of the Cincinnati Bengals' second-year rusher's stat line reads more like the first half of a Leonard Fournette outing -- 123 yards, two touchdowns.

But, oh yeah, that's 123 yards on 41 carries, an average of 3.0 yards per rush. Not to mention, there are the two lost fumbles from the Week 2 win over San Diego. Put it all that together, and you have the kind of start that could be deemed a nightmare for a solid Bengals offense trying to make sure it's as balanced as possible now as the season hits its stride.

Fret not, though, Bengals fans and fantasy owners. Hill believes these early dark days will soon subside.

"It's coming," Hill said, referencing a conversation he had with offensive coordinator Hue Jackson walking off the field following Sunday's 28-24 win at Baltimore. "I talked to Hue after and he knows it's coming. We can feel it. There are certain plays, certain situations where we can feel it."

Against the Ravens, Hill averaged a whopping 1.8 yards, carrying 12 times for 21 yards. He also barely touched the ball in the second half after he had difficulty getting anything established, whether with extra backfield blockers or without. Fellow Bengals rusher Giovani Bernard didn't have a significantly better day, but Bernard's 13 carries for 49 yards and three catches for 34 yards helped move the ball downfield and set up key scores.

His own low average from Sunday aside, Bernard at least appears to be rounding into the form he had in 2013, when he was running hard through tackles and looked healthy and fluid juking and sprinting past defenders. Combine that with a couple of key blitz pickups he had in this latest victory, and Bernard has gotten off to a comparatively solid start for his undefeated team.

Speaking of being undefeated, that's all that Hill is concerning himself with right now.

"For me, we're 3-0. So that's the most important thing," he said. "Like I say, there's going to be days when our passing game is going and there are days when the running game is going. On days when the running game is going, we've got to get it done. We've got to finish runs and score touchdowns. It's all stuff we're capable of doing."

On a day when the Bengals were held under 90 yards rushing -- Bernard had 123 on his own the week before versus the Chargers -- their offense passed for nearly 400 yards. Andy Dalton was most in sync with A.J. Green, who caught 10 passes for 227 yards, including two for touchdowns in a back-and-forth fourth quarter. His second go-ahead score ultimately won the Bengals the game.

Hill foresees a day when he can be the hero.

"There's going to be a day when the running game is going to pop," he said. "So we're going to keep pounding, keep grinding. We're not going to get in the tank and pass it every play. It'll be a day. We've just got to keep pounding and keep working."