Who will lead the Cincinnati Bengals in total touchdowns in 2021?
Tee Higgins and Giovani Bernard tied for the lead in 2020 with six. Higgins had all of his touchdowns through the air, while Bernard evenly split his between receiving and rushing.
Joe Mixon was the Bengals’ touchdown champion in 2019, and was tied for third in 2020 with four.
With Bernard gone, will Mixon take back the crown? Or will Year 2 see Higgins take the next step? Or will a third candidate end up leading the Bengals in scoring?
Here are the candidates:
In 2019, Mixon had five rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns to combine for a team-leading eight. Mixon also led the team in touchdowns in 2018 with nine (eight rushing, one receiving).
He had no receiving touchdowns in 2020, but if he’s healthy all year, he could combine his production from the air with his production from the ground.
Mixon played all 16 games in 2019 and led the team with 313 touches. The next closest on the team that year was Boyd, with only 94. In 2020, he was second with 140 touches, even though he only played in six games.
It stands to reason that if Mixon gets the majority of the teams’ touches, he will have more opportunities to find the end zone. If he’s healthy all year, he’s the favorite to win the scoring crown.
The Bengals’ leading rusher has led the team in the last three seasons. Mixon could extend that streak to four.
Not only has Boyd led the Bengals in receptions in each of the last three years, he has also average four rushing attempts a season in that time frame.
However, touches don’t necessarily correlate to touchdowns for Boyd. While he had seven touchdowns in 2018, he had only five in 2019 and four in 2020. Those were good for second on the team in 2018 and 2019, and tied for third in 2020.
His seven in 2018 would have given the lead in last seasons’ race. So while it hasn’t worked for him so far, the potential is certainly there.
Higgins shared the title with Bernard last year as a rookie despite being fifth on the team in touches.
The last receiver to win the crown outright was A.J. Green in 2017. But with a better quarterback and a better offense in general, Higgins could take up the mantle. He will be playing in Green’s role this year, which is going to help.
Higgins is bigger and taller than Boyd, which makes him an easier red zone target to hit. Plus, Higgins has finally had a full NFL offseason, and all reports say that he looks much better than he did last season. So if you take his six touchdowns from a year ago and add a second year of development, then Higgins is poised to score a lot.
In 14 games at LSU, Ja’Marr Chase caught 20 touchdowns. Only Jerry Rice and Randy Moss have ever caught more than 20 touchdowns in an NFL season.
If Chase is only HALF as productive in the NFL as he was in college with Joe Burrow, then he will still likely lead the Bengals in total touchdowns.
There might be other names that stand out, like C.J. Uzomah and Auden Tate. Both would be great red zone targets, so in theory, they should produce.
However, Uzomah hasn’t caught more than three touchdowns in a season since 2018, while Tate has had no more than two.
Another option could be Samaje Perine. If Mixon missed any games due to injury, Perine would take up the mantle and score some touchdowns. Since Perine is a more powerful back than Mixon, he might get more goal line carries anyways.
Who do you think will lead the Bengals in total touchdowns this season?
Who will lead the Bengals in touchdowns this year?