It is no secret to Bengals fans that Joe Mixon is one of the team’s best offensive weapons. Since he was drafted in 2017 and eventually took over the starting job, he has been one of the most consistent threat for Cincinnati.
We now have proof that not only has he been one of the most consistent, but he has also been one of the most explosive backs in the NFL since being drafted.
This stat is especially impressive when you consider how poor of an offensive line Mixon has had over his career so far. There are countless times we’ve seen him take it upon himself to break multiple tackles behind the line of scrimmage or completely reverse field to make something out of nothing.
That isn’t to say that Mixon has done this all on his own. There have definitely been times the offensive line has opened up enough of a hole to get him to the second level of the defense. However, when you consider the difference in the offensive line that Mixon and Ezekiel Elliott have had the past three seasons, you can see how that becomes even more impressive. What also makes this stat insanely impressive for Mixon is he did this with 154 less carries over that three year span.
Bengals fans may have missed Mixon’s resurgence in the second half of the 2019 season. The fact he rushed for over 1,000 yards that year despite how rough his first eight games were says a lot about the momentum he has going into 2020. He could absolutely be the most important offensive player for a team that will be fielding Joe Burrow Week 1 with a limited offseason to get chemistry with his teammates.
This whole post really is preaching to the choir though. Bengals fans have know that Mixon has quickly become one of the best running backs in the NFL. It also isn’t a stretch that he could be in line for an even bigger 2020 with the offensive line adding a couple improved pieces as well as the scheme really fitting what Mixon does best after struggling to find that early in 2019.
What this kind of stat does is force Mixon into the national narrative just a little bit more. He has consistently been underrated the past two years, especially in 2018 when he was snubbed for the Pro Bowl in 2018 despite having the most rushing yards in the AFC after missing two games. It is just getting harder and harder for people to ignore that he deserves to be in the conversation among the best running backs in the NFL.