Let’s take a look at the winners and losers of the contest.
Joe Mixon: A good day for Mixon was a welcomed site to all in Who Dey Nation. Mixon looked explosive and averaged 7.9 yards per carry in the first half. Being able to go under center has clearly helped also. Mixon provided the balance the Bengal offense has desperately needed. Mixon finished with 16 rushes for 87 yards and a touchdown in easily his best performance of the season. If the running game can continue to perform that well, good things lie ahead for this offense.
Joe Burrow: Burrow said earlier in the week that he felt back to 100%, and it looked like the case Sunday. Burrow was evading pressure, scrambling, and making plays with his legs all day. For the first time this season, Burrow looked fully confident in taking the ball past the line of scrimmage and running forward. He finished with 44 yards rushing on the day. Burrow was also extremely efficient as a passer, completing 28 passes out of 32 attempts. Burrow finished the day with 283 passing and 3 touchdowns in clearly his most complete game of the season.
Ja’Marr Chase: Chase finished with 10 catches for 100 yards on the day, and they weren’t always flashy, they weren’t all highlight plays, but Chase moved the chains, secured the ball, and was the reliable option we’ve grown to expect him to be.
Germaine Pratt: To close the third quarter, Pratt had a big interception to swing momentum back in the Bengals’ favor. Pratt continues to find the ball in big moments. He finished with five tackles (3 solo), but the interception really helped turn things back in Cincinnati’s favor.
Logan Wilson: Not to be outdone by his fellow linebacker, Wilson followed up with an interception of his own. Wilson is up to 10 career interceptions, which is the most among all linebackers since 2020. Wilson completed the game with 11 tackles 9 solo, and the interception. Wilson continues to look like one of the best linebackers in the entire NFL.
Lou Anarumo: Lou called a masterful bend-but-don’t break game, as his defense did give up 460 total yards to the 49ers. But just as he did against the Seahawks in Week 7, Lou called a great game in the red zone that helped limit the 49ers to just 17 points and 2/4 on red-zone conversions. The defense also forced three critical turnovers and terrorized Brock Purdy with two sacks, seven QB hits, two interceptions forced, and a fumble forced.
Zac Taylor Haters: Boy, oh boy. Taylor went head-to-head with Kyle Shanahan, who is regarded as one of the best play-callers in the league. The Bengals offense looked balanced, calculated, and explosive when needed. Fans have been clamoring for a complete game from the offense, and they got it when they needed it most.
Irv Smith Jr.: Smith had a rough day as the Bengals are still desperately looking for help from their tight ends. Late in the second quarter, with the Bengals up 14-10, Smith fumbled inside the red zone, giving the ball back to San Francisco and taking three, if not seven points off the board. Smith has battled injuries again this season but has yet to be able to make the most of his time on the field.