Jeremy Hill: There is no running from playoff fumble

The game clock read 1:36 left in the fourth quarter after Vontaze Burfict intercepted Landry Jones, giving the Cincinnati Bengals the ball with a one-point lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card matchup this past January.

After Burfict's interception the Bengals owned a 95.9 percent win probability, per Pro Football Reference.

On the next play from scrimmage Cincinnati running back Jeremy Hill broke off a six-yard run. As Hill fell to the turf, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier ripped the ball lose and Pittsburgh recovered.

You know the rest: A noodle-armed Ben Roethlisberger returned to lead the Steelers on a game-winning field goal drive, aided by an unnecessary roughness penalty on Burfict and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Adam Jones.

Had Hill's fumble not occurred, the Bengals would likely have won their first playoff game since 1990.

On Monday the 23-year-old running back faced the media for the first time since that day.

"There is no running from it," Hill said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I embrace it. I embrace the challenge. I embrace the doubters, the negative, all that stuff. It's great. It's part of football. The great competitors, the great athletes all embrace it. I see myself as no different. I'm going to continue to embrace it every day, face it every day and wait for my opportunity to overcome that."

Hill said he's gotten advice from many former players, including NFL Media's Marshall Faulk. Hill said the best advice he's gotten has been to not let the fumble define him and his career.

"Obviously when something like that happens they get the blame and you blame that person," Hill said. "I get it. That's the business. That's how it works. I'm totally fine accepting that and I embrace that. For me, it's going to help me this offseason because once you have the season I had and that moment at the end of that season it can only go up from there. That's how I'm looking at it and how it will be. If anything it motivated me as a player and will continue to help me for the rest of my career."

Hill disappointed early in 2015, but enters his third season with a chip on his shoulder. The young back has years left to rewrite his football story. The fumble can be the defining moment of his career, or it can be the pivot point in an uplifting narrative on overcoming failure.

Hill, for his part, isn't running from the failure. 

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