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Bengals News (12/1): The Joe Burrow effect

Joe Burrow has this Bengals team feeling different.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Mixon Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week For Week 12
Mixon on Sunday rushed for a career-high 165 yards, the most-ever by a Bengal against the Steelers. He also scored two TDs against Pittsburgh, and now enters this Sunday's game vs. the L.A. Chargers with multiple TDs in four straight games, the longest streak in team history and the longest active streak in the NFL. He also has least one TD in eight straight games, tied for the third-longest streak in team history.

Taylor Made Takes: Zac Taylor talks about the Bengals in the AFC Playoff Race
The divisional games are different than any game you play. You go in with a game plan, but it's usually pretty grimy and rocky. Typically, there's going to be a lot of adversity and a lot of momentum switches. Fortunately for us there weren't many momentum switches. I thought our guys did a really great job with their approach all week. They were relaxed, no one was uptight playing a divisional game, a big one, and guys went out there and played loose and that's what final score was.

Game Preview: Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals, Week 13, Sunday, December 5, 2021
The Bengals face the L.A. Chargers on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, and will be looking to stay on the winning track after last week's 41-10 win over division-rival Pittsburgh. It was the Bengals' largest margin of victory over the Steelers in 32 years (also 41-10, on Sept. 17, 1989). The lopsided result surprised observers across the league. But when Bengals QB Joe Burrow was asked after the game about the significance of this season's convincing sweep of the archrival Steelers, he barely blinked.

Joe Burrow's steady confidence lifting Cincinnati Bengals
It was the start of the Cincinnati Bengals' bye week, and Joe Burrow was asked about the team's mindset after a fast start had stalled with two straight losses before the break. Burrow's tone in interviews can best be called imperturbable. His low voice is as devoid of angst when discussing a losing streak ("You look across the league and a lot of teams are in our situation") as it is lacking in giddiness when asked about being compared to Joe Montana ("Let's relax, OK?").

Film Breakdown: The Most Important Play in the Cincinnati Bengals' Offense
Joe Mixon ran for 165 yards in the Bengals’ 31 point shellacking of the Steelers in Week 12. This incredible performance from the run game was the best of Mixon’s career thus far. He not only beat the Steelers with volume, but he also efficient. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry, which is fantastic.

Bengals get a familiar face to replace Trae Waynes in new mock draft
“If the Bengals look to bolster their cornerback depth chart in the draft, they will have a few options in their own back yard. Gardner is a tall, long athlete who can flip his hips and stay on top of routes. Shifty route-runners will give him trouble at times, but he has been a lockdown player in college with zero touchdowns allowed on his watch.”

Tough upcoming schedule not as daunting for the Cincinnati Bengals
The 7-4 Cincinnati Bengals are riding high after back-to-back wins over the Las Vegas Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the latter of those being an utter domination of their longtime rival. However, the Bengals have a tough schedule ahead on their journey to a playoff appearance.

Bengals defense gets its swagger back
In the two games since the bye week, Cincinnati forced five turnovers and allowed just 23 points combined, and the Bengals got their swagger back in front of the home crowd Sunday with a 41-7 win over the Steelers. Now, they look to keep that going this week when they host the L.A. Chargers.

Around the league

NFL Offensive Player Rankings, Week 13: Teams that should be in the market for Jimmy Garoppolo
"Absent a Super Bowl run, which at this point is still theoretically possible, this is the 49ers' plan next season: start Trey Lance, trade Jimmy Garoppolo," Rapoport said on NFL GameDay Morning. "Not a surprise there; they've been pretty up front about that. What Garoppolo is doing now is increasing the value of picks the 49ers get in a trade involving him, and make it more likely that a place he wants to go would want to take him."

Zack Martin: O-line bears responsibility for Cowboys' run-game struggles
"I think you've got to look first and foremost at our room," Martin said, via ESPN. "We take a lot of pride in that run game and over the last few weeks it hasn't been what we want it to be, so we've just got to get back to basics."

Bills defense preparing for life without star CB Tre'Davious White: 'There's some big shoes to fill'
White allowed a 61.4 passer rating when targeted this season, per Pro Football Focus, the fourth-lowest among all CBs with at least 25 targets. His ability to take an opponent's top receiver one-on-one opened up so many options for Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

Cardinals' TD-machine James Conner hopes to stick around Arizona for more than one season
When running back James Conner hit free agency in the spring, his options were "limited," as he put it. After struggling in his final few seasons in Pittsburgh, including missing games due to injury, few teams searched for a between-the-tackles grinder who might not be available every week.