Joe Mixon set a new standard for himself in 2018 when he lead the AFC in rushing despite missing two games. Despite a slow start, he will reach that bar again this season.
The preseason did not leave many Bengals fans hopeful. Even though Mixon only had one carry, going for three yards, the entire rushing offense looked out of sync.
Things continued to go badly in Week 1 when Mixon only had six carries for 10 yards. He didn’t play the whole game because of an injury, but 1.7 yards per carry average did not bode well. Mixon’s performance was even worse in Week 2, despite having more carries. Against the 49ers, he averaged only 1.5 yards per carry.
But he finally hit his stride against the Bills in Week 3, carrying the rock 15 times, gaining 60 yards, and scoring his first touchdown albeit through the air.
In the last three weeks, Mixon has 49 carries for 215 yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. This is coming alongside an absolute lack of a passing game behind a line starting its third-string left tackle.
There is not a lot to write home about with this team—especially on offense. But Mixon is the one thing that is going right for this team. If the team is going to turn the corner, it will be on Mixon’s legs.
The passing game started strong, but has fizzled out. The defense has looked good at times, but a quick film review will expose some serious problems. The only good thing that Bengals fans can count on is Mixon’s running game.
This season is going to be rough. Mixon can help it feel less rough.