The Cincinnati Bengals remain the NFL’s only one-win team after a predictable Week 15 blowout loss at home to the New England Patriots. However, there were a few silver linings from that brutal 34-13 beatdown.
Joe Mixon was one of them, and he’s been a tear throughout the second half of the season. The third-year running back ran for 136 yards on 25 carries. He also was active in the passing game, catching three of Dalton’s mere 17 completions.
Following the easy New England victory, Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick heaped high praise on Mixon, the AFC’s leading rusher a year ago. He noted that Mixon may be the best back in the NFL.
“(Joe) Mixon is a good one, too. He probably is the best back in the league. He runs so hard and is so hard to tackle.”
With eight rings throughout his days as a coach, Belichick didn’t stop complimenting Cincinnati’s elite talent at a few skill positions there. He continued on with high praise for A.J. Green, a player seeking a new, long-term contract after likely sitting out all season with an ankle injury.
“A.J. Green is probably one of the best receivers in the league, but obviously he hasn’t been able to play this season. We’re talking about a great back. A great receiver and a tight end that’s almost unrecoverable. These players are tough to handle and I thought a number of our guys stepped up today. We didn’t play perfect, and those guys are hard to cover but I thought we competed today,” Belichick said.
As for Mixon, he has been on a tear these last few weeks. With his 136 against New England, Mixon recorded his third 100-yard game in the past six Cincinnati outings. He’s ran for over 75 yards in five of the six as well.
After not hitting that mark through the first nine weeks of the season, Mixon has come on strong. However, when looking at the Bengals’ offensive line, one of the league’s worst, Mixon’s feats become even more impressive.
That said, he should end the season strong with Miami away and Cleveland at home to finish out his third year in the league. Mixon is 75 yards away from his second consecutive 1,000-yard season.