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Joe Mixon guarantees Bengals are “definitely going to the playoffs” next year

The Bengals running back is using the sting of playoff elimination to inspire his team to make the playoffs next year.

Oakland Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With their 16-13 loss to the Steelers in Week 17, the Bengals’ season is officially over.

The 6-10 Bengals were eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago, but it stings for Joe Mixon just as much now as it did then.

“It sucks because you just come up short,” he said in a post-game interview.

Even though the Steelers defeated the Bengals, they still found themselves on the outside looking in moments later as the Ravens held off the Browns and taking the AFC North title.

The Steelers’ last hopes rested in the Colts/Titans game ended in a tie. Once the Colts finished the Titans 33-17 on their home field, Pittsburgh’s fate became the same as Cincinnati’s.

Even though the Bengals have been eliminated this year, Mixon is looking forward to postseason football following three straight losing seasons.

“This is gonna sting for the next seven, eight months,” Mixon said, “but I know one thing. Next year our team is definitely going to the playoffs.”

Coming out of college at Oklahoma, Mixon was pretty accustomed to winning. In his two seasons playing for the Sooners, he was a part of two 11-2 seasons with major bowl appearances coming at the end of each season.

In his two seasons as a professional, Mixon has seen just 13 wins. Losing is as good as any motivator for success, and the AFC rushing leader is determined to make the postseason next year.

Mixon took incredible strides this season after a disappointing rookie campaign, but it’s hard for rushing success to translate to team success when only six teams finish with a worse adjusted Yards per attempt.

The Bengals still have many problems even after Marvin Lewis’ dismissal from the team, but Mixon isn’t one of them. If they can stay healthy and put together a solid offseason, Mixon’s promises could very well be kept.