2018 was a year of adversity for the Bengals, but through it all, Joe Mixon became one of the NFL’s best running backs.
In just his season year in the pros, Mixon led the AFC in rushing, despite playing behind a struggling offensive line while Andy Dalton and A.J. Green missed significant stretches, leaving Mixon as the focal point of the Bengals’ offense, and opponents knew it.
Even so, Mixon still managed to keep this offense respectable as he ran for 1,168 yards and eight scores in just 14 games. Had he not had a knee injury early in the season and missed two games, he would have been in contention for the NFL rushing title.
So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see oddsmakers think Mixon has a shot to lead the NFL in rushing this season.
Latest odds on who will lead the NFL in rushing this season (via @betonline_ag):— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 1, 2019
Ezekiel Elliott: 4/1
Saquon Barkley: 11/2
Joe Mixon: 10/1
Nick Chubb: 10/1
Derrick Henry: 12/1
Todd Gurley: 12/1
Le'Veon Bell: 14/1
Mixon is tied with Browns running back Nick Chubb for the third-best odds to lead the NFL in rushing, trailing only Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys and Saquon Barkley of the Giants.
Elliott is in the midst of a holdout in Dallas, and it could bleed into the regular season, making it harder for him to accomplish this feat.
I’d be placing my money on Barkley, but if Mixon can stay healthy for all 16 games, he’ll have a real shot at the title.