The running game is breathing new life into the Cincinnati Bengals. And it’s not just Joe Mixon and the offensive line.
Cincinnati’s wide receivers have become unsung heroes in the ground game, and everyone of them has been invovled. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Mike Thomas, and especially Stanley Morgan Jr. are all making an impact on the perimeter to keep Mixon untouched past the line of scrimmage.
In his Monday presser, head coach Zac Taylor praised his receiving corps for their work in the run game.
“We want to have the best blocking receivers in the NFL,” Taylor said. “That’s the standard that we’re trying to set right now and that’s what they’re out to get, and they’re doing a pretty dang good job making a statement on that for the rest of the league to notice.”
Taylor cited numerous blocks from his receivers on Sunday, but it’s been a theme from this entire season. Thomas and Morgan have become the main subs at the position because of their run blocking. Both are among the top 25 receivers in run blocking grade, per Pro Football Focus Morgan. It’s more than just Chase making a highlight play against the Lions, the entire group has excelled behind the scenes.
“They’ve all bought in,” Taylor said. “Every receiver we’ve got in the room knows the expectation is you gotta block. We know that they’re gonna make the plays down the field in the pass game, but [I’m] just really proud so far of the standard that they’ve set on the perimeter in the blocking game, and they’re gonna continue to build off that too because we’re not gonna let it slip now.”
The Bengals are going to run the ball until someone stops them. These receivers don’t seem to mind the extra work.