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Cincinnati Bengals remain ‘hottest thing smoking’ in NFL


Mixon rushed for a career-high 1,205 yards and was top-of-the-line at his position with the third-highest rushing total within the NFL last season. Including his production within the passing game, Mixon finished the 12 months with 1,519 yards from scrimmage and 16 total touchdowns, putting him fourth amongst all NFL running backs in each category.

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Mixon’s total yardage put him ahead of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd by way of overall production. Chase and Higgins each topped 1,000 yards receiving, and Boyd wasn’t far off.

Mixon also earned his first Pro Bowl selection and even threw a touchdown pass within the Bengals’ first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years, but while the Bengals challenged Mixon to do more within the aerial attack last 12 months, the third-down duties went to Samaje Perine and coach Zac Taylor isn’t necessarily searching for ways to get Mixon more involved in 2022.

“To say more, it’s taking away from somewhere,” Taylor said last month when asked if he would really like to see Mixon more involved within the passing game. “We’re getting a number of production from a number of different guys. We’ve got a ton of production from our starting three receivers. We’ve got a ton of production from the tight end position. Got a ton of production from the running backs as a complete. To make an announcement that we are able to get more out of Joe within the passing game, that’s got to drag from somewhere, after which we’ll be talking about why there wasn’t as much production from Ja’Marr or Tee. what I mean? So all of it works together. We’re just seeking to be an efficient offense and maximize the usage of all the fellows the most effective we are able to to emphasize the defense. After which whoever gets the ball, gets the ball, and we expect them to make plays.”

The Bengals had five third-and-one or fourth-and-one situations in Super Bowl LVI, they usually didn’t use Mixon on any of them. They converted just one in all those, a fourth-and-1 scramble for Burrow.

Last season, Mixon was on the sector for 64 percent of Cincinnati’s total team snaps, which was the fourth-highest amongst all running backs, in response to NFL Next Gen Stats. But most of those got here on first or second down. Mixon was on the sector for 75 percent of the team’s first and second downs.

Perine received 64 percent of the snaps on third down, while Mixon shared just 17 percent of those. While Taylor leaves room for Mixon to get more opportunities in those situations, it’s clear his value stays in what he can do within the running game to place Joe Burrow and the offense in higher third-down situations.

“It may all the time shift by a pair targets by position,” Taylor said. “But there are things we definitely utilize Joe on, where we attempt to get the ball in his hands within the pass game. And he’s done an excellent job executing that kind of stuff.”

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