Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson has been one of the more successful opponents of the Ravens', becoming in 2009 the first tailback since Jerome Bettis in 1996 to gain more than 100 yards twice against the Ravens in the same season.
This year, Benson is one of the NFL leaders in a dubious category: fumbles.
Benson is tied for second in fumbles by a running back with five. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew has fumbled more times (six).
All of five of Benson’s fumbles have occurred in the Bengals’ past two games. Cincinnati beat the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals, but coach Marvin Lewis said Benson must do a better job of protecting the football.
“You can't put the ball on the ground five times in that many attempts at any point, really,” Lewis said during his weekly news conference in comments distributed by the team. “That's a season's worth. Unfortunately, it's happened to us the last two weeks. We can't do that. Anybody that carries the football – quarterback, receiver, a guy that intercepts it or recovers a fumble – when you have the ball in your hands, we're all with you. And you've got us all on your back. If you give the ball up, you're killing our opportunity to win a football game.”