Bryce Brown has blessed us with some early holiday coal while reminding us yet again that hard decisions are hard.

Two weeks ago he was finishing a stretch when he torched two poor run defenses for 372 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. He also lost three fumbles, but shhhhhh.

But when he was faced with his first real test last week against the league’s best run defense, he crumbled colossally. The rookie was held to just six yards on 12 carries by the Bucs, a horrid total that gets worse when you notice that he had an 11-yard carry. That means his 11 other carries netted minus five yards. Yep.

That’s made your sit/start decision with Brown difficult tonight as he gets set to oppose a Bengals run defense that isn’t the Bucs run defense, but it’s still pretty damn good (ranked 11th, giving up 105.5 yards per game). Also complicating matters is the fact that as a late-season waiver wire pickup, Brown is just one of likely several appealing options on your bench. Of course, you can completely ignore that sentence if you’re a LeSean McCoy owner, and Brown is your injury handcuff.

Let’s end this now, though, roughly an hour before game time: you should start Brown.

Just go ahead and make the necessary clicks now, and the reasons are pretty simple:

  • The Eagles are surely aware of their offensive line weakness by now due to rampant injuries, and they’re also aware of the Bengals’ defensive line that’s pretty good at hurting quarterbacks (led by Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap, they lead the league with 42.5 sacks). Leaving a rookie quarterback exposed to that pass rush regularly is probably a bad idea, so in an attempt to neutralize Atkins et al, Brown should receive a significant workload, likely over 20 carries.
  • The last time Brown had over 20 carries was against the Cowboys two weeks ago, and that ended in 169 rushing yards.
  • Yeah, that’s 16 fantasy points on the yardage alone, and then he scored twice.
  • Also, while the Bengals have generally limited overall rushing yardage throughout the season, their red-zone rush defense leaves a little something to be desired as they’ve allowed 11 touchdowns on the ground.

Of course, now that I’ve served you with my logic and thought process behind a Brown start if I owned him, he’ll be horrendous. Sorry?