If running back Joe Mixon was looking to be an integral part of the Bengals offense in Week 1, he wasn’t. Neither was Gio Bernard. The Cincinnati rushing game didn’t exist, and as good as yesterday felt, concern for Week 2 and running the football is at the top of the list for Taylor.
On 14 carries, the Bengals run game added 34 yards in total to what was a pretty good offensive show in Seattle. Moving forward, that will have to get better. Mixon will have to be the factor he planned on being this past offseason.
Clearly, the offensive line offered little assistance. Taylor will have to find a scheme that allows for Mixon and Bernard to find some opportunities to prevent the Bengals offense from becoming single-dimensional. In Tampa on Sunday, the Bucs running game finished with 121 yards on 26 attempts. Perhaps Mixon and Bernard see better results against the Niners defense.
As good as Cincinnati played on offense throwing the ball, the exact opposite can be said for their running it. The claims by Mixon that the Bengals might resemble what the Los Angeles Rams do, specifically Todd Gurley, didn’t really pan out on Sunday. While an ankle injury didn’t help, the running game as a whole was awful.
Feel good about a lot of things from Sunday. But a sustainable rushing attack probably wins that game for Cincinnati.