Gamebreaker: Jerome Bettis vs The Bengals

After starting a series that looked at players that consistently dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers, I thought it would be a nifty idea to switch around my focus. Instead of focusing on players that have shredded the Steelers, let’s remember the good times and look at current or former Steelers that have dominated their division rivals. This series will be named after the Gamebreaker mode from the NFL Street video game series. Activating Gamebreaker made players nearly unstoppable and there is no doubt that these Steelers were nearly unstoppable against their division rivals.

Players who activate Gamebreaker on offense would become impossible to tackle and in testament to that, our series will kick off looking at Jerome Bettis’ efforts against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Bettis has run over a ton of defenders over his career but that is to be expected when you are the eighth leading rusher in NFL history. Defenses left these contests battered and bruised and no team has received more punishment from The Bus than the Bengals.

In 20 career games against the Bengals, the now Hall of Fame running back rushed for 1794 yards while also scoring 17 rushing touchdowns. No player in NFL history has rushed for more yards against the Bengals than Bettis.

Most Rushing Yards Vs The Cincinnati Bengals

  1. Jerome Bettis – 1794 rushing yards
  2. Jamal Lewis – 1746 rushing yards
  3. Franco Harris – 1495 rushing yards

Bettis’ first 100-yard game against the Bengals came in their very first meeting. Still a member of the Los Angeles Rams at this point, the young running back put up 124 rushing yards on 24 carries in a 1993 loss to the Bengals. His last 100-yard rushing performance against the Bengals came over a decade later in 2004 when during a Week 11 matchup, The Bus rushed for 129 yards on 29 carries. From 1993 to 2004, there would be more than just a few 100-yard performances from the Hall of Fame running back.

No player in NFL history has recorded more 100-yard games against the Bengals than Bettis. He crossed 100-yards rushing 11 times against the Bengals, two more than his next closest competitor (Jamal Lewis accomplished it nine times). With 20 total regular season games against the Bengals, Bettis managed to cross into triple digits in over half of these contests.

While Bettis may have seen his role decrease as he got older, his earlier showings saw him put up video game type numbers. He rushed for over 100-yards in each of his first five career games against the Bengals. In fact, over his first 13 games against the Bengals, The Bus managed to exceed 100-yards on the ground a whopping 10 times.

“Even The Bus looks like he’s a sports car against the Bengals.”

Chris Berman says it best on Bettis’ 41-yard touchdown on the clip above. There are just some players who rise to the occasion when the stakes are the highest. And against a division rival like the Bengals, The Bus was no ordinary bus. He was a bus with the engine of a Ferrari as he pummeled his way through the Cincinnati franchise.

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