There was not much to like about that game, particularly when it came to the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense, but they did show some life in the run game.
Joe Mixon looked good, and the offensive line was able to open holes for him between the tackles, but they did not commit to running the ball.
Next week this should be an emphasis with both Mixon and rookie Chase Brown getting a heavy workload. Not because they are different but because they are the same. Both are downhill runners who can make plays in the passing game and pick up tough yards running the ball.
The offensive line gets some push on this play. Mixon gets skinny through the hole and powers forward for a first down.
This is an excellent downhill run and shows what the Bengals are capable of being in the run game. Duo could be their identity.
Brown can run like that too.
In this clip from the preseason, Brown cuts the zone play way back, finds a hole, and rumbles, stumbles, and bumbles for a nice gain.
Mixon’s best run of the game came on this zone play.
Like water, he finds his way downhill, coming right between the guard and center as they separate on the combo block.
This was a nice run, and there is a lot more where that came from.
Brown can make this type of explosive play too.
Here in this clip from college, he showcases what he can do for this offense. He cuts the zone play way back and breaks a tackle for a big gain.
The Bengals showed some serious potential in the run game, and they need to lean into that with a heavy dose of Mixon and Brown next week. If they can not only run the ball effectively but create big chunk plays, it will give their offense a whole new dimension and create more big-play opportunities in the passing game.