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PFF ranks Bengals backfield 14th in NFL

Fair or foul?

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Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cincinnati Bengals should have one of the NFL’s best offenses for years to come, mostly on the strength of an elite quarterback, as well as arguably the best wide receiver trio there is.

But while Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd get much of the focus, one can’t forget how good of a backfield the Bengals have in Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine and Chris Evans.

Mixon is one of the league’s better backs, while Perine is a capable backup, and Evans showed a lot of potential as a pass-catching back in Year 1, similar to what Giovani Bernard became.

However, Pro Football Focus isn’t quite as high on this running back group, which they have ranked 14th in the NFL, barely cracking the top half of the league.

Joe Mixon had the best season of his career last year in Cincinnati, ending the year ranked second among all running backs in offensive snaps (886) to go along with a career-high 82.1 PFF rushing grade. Samaje Perine fills in behind him as a middle-of-the-road No. 2 option who notably took an important third-and-1 carry in the Super Bowl. This past year’s draft selection Chris Evans did show some promise as a receiver (82.3 PFF receiving grade) in limited action in 2021.

People just can’t get over that infamous Perine carry in the Super Bowl, which is pretty unfair to him, especially after his 41-yard touchdown catch vs. the Kansas City Chiefs helped turned the tide in the AFC Championship after Cincinnati went down 21-3.

Saying this, Evans absolutely needs more touches in Year 2, especially as a pass-catcher.

What do you think of this ranking? Let us know in the comments section!