The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off their most impressive win during Zac Taylor’s tenure. They put up 41 points on the Baltimore Ravens while only giving up 17 points to their offense led by quarterback Lamar Jackson.
This win has gotten Cincinnati plenty of attention, but running back Joe Mixon thinks the best is yet to come from this team.
“We haven’t had a complete game, and we’re getting better each and every week,” Mixon told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I think a perfect game is going to come. Really, at the end of the day, we’re heating up. If we get hot it’s just going to be scary.”
Many are quick to site the combination of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr chase — who look like they are picking up where they left off at LSU in 2019— but Mixon is also in the midst of an incredible season. He has over 600 total yards and five total touchdowns so far on the season.
Still, the veteran running back thinks the chemistry this team has is something special. He also credits it as the turning point for this successful season.
“It started with the base and the foundation of the team.” Mixon said. “The older players who were here before. I’ve been here since day one with the heartbreaks and losing seasons, but one thing we did was always lead by example and very vocally. Guys like me, Sam (Hubbard), Tyler Boyd, C.J. Uzomah. Things like that is what bring us so close. The free agents have gelled, and we’ve grown as a team.”
“The defense gets a turnover and guys are jumping off the sidelines. That’s infectious. We never had that and to be real, that’s something special. It’s special what we have in the locker room.”
There is no doubt that the Bengals went out of their way to establish a culture change after things grew stale in the last few season Marvin Lewis as the head coach. Taylor and the front office have gone out of their way to surround the existing young voices in the locker room with veterans who had been there before. Players who know what a winning team does to prepare.
Still, it clearly goes beyond bringing in veterans from good teams. All of these players are quick to run over and celebrate with their teammate after a huge play. You can also see that none of the players have an ounce of selfishness in them. Mixon’s Fourth down touchdown catch that was made possible due to Chase hustling down field to block the safety isn’t something you see every day. Not to mention that the running back was quick to tell the cameras that Chase deserved all the credit for that score.
You can tell that everyone on this team wants to see each other succeed. That is a dangerous formula when a team has as much fore power as the Bengals. The Baltimore game was as close to a perfect game as we’ve seen so far, but if they keep their focus up on the New York Jets this week without Zach Wilson, then we could see some serious fireworks.