The Cincinnati Bengals endured many struggles in the past years, but they are in for history this time around. Despite the injury of rookie wide receiver John Ross, which will cause him to miss the first two games, the Jungle is looking at ending their unfortunate streak of playoff losses. Yes, you heard it here first, the Cincinnati Bengals will win a playoff game.
I know it sounds crazy, but there is proof: firstly, Emile Pierce of FanSided.com says that “After reloading with a ton of youth, speed and power, the sky’s the limit.” That’s true, Ross’s contribution will definitely prove helpful to his 14 games, but his rookie running back teammate, Joe Mixon is the bigger story.
Though he’s third on the depth chart for Cincy, alternating as backup with Giovani Bernard and back to Jeremy Hill, fans are without-a-doubt excited. Head coach Marvin Lewis is one of those fans and he said, “His personality, his work ethic, how he comes and approaches practice every day,” Lewis said about Mixon. “from the very first rookie camp here in Cincinnati, you felt that, but you aren’t sure because it’s a very limited exposure. Now that’s a day-to-day thing with the ups and downs in camp — being tired, being asked to run and finish every play. He likes to do that. He likes to run down that field like he is scoring a touchdown, and we are going to give him a lot of opportunities to do that.”
With that type of enthusiasm from the head coach, Mixon is sure to be at the top of his game, soon enough. Of course, Jeremy Hill had a noteworthy season last year; he rushed for 839 yards and nine touchdowns with no fumbles, averaging 3.8 yards per attempt in 15 games. Although Jason Marcum of SBNation Bengals, otherwise known as CincyJungle.com, said, “that doesn’t mean this hierarchy can’t change as the season goes on, especially if Mixon continues to impress. It just means you need to be patient.”
In his two years at Big 12 Oklahoma State he played 25 games, rushed for 2027 yards, rushed for 17 touchdowns and averaged 6.8 yards per carry. Granted, the difference of skill between the NFL and NCAA Football is immense, averaging 1013.5 yards per season is no small task; even the Bengals top running back, Hill, didn’t reach 850 yards last year.
Read tomorrow for the sequel to this article concerning the Cincinnati defense. While it held the team back in the past, paired with the usual success of the Jungle’s offense, the team could turn this year into a record year.