Bengals: Power ranking the best running backs in the AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Mixon (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Mixon (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Mixon (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

AFC North Power Rankings #2- Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

It’s a strong division when Joe Mixon comes in as the second-best running back. Mixon has had back to back years of more than 1,100 yards on the ground and over 250 receiving yards. This is especially impressive considering the less than stellar play he has had around him.

Cincinnati has had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL for the past few years and that is when Mixon has really come into his own and started producing at a high level. Combine that with a passing game that has not inspired fear, and it is a wonder Mixon has been able to produce at such a high level.

The former Oklahoma Sooner has the chance to really improve on his numbers from his first three years with the addition of a viable passing game. Joe Burrow should force defenses to back off the line and allow Mixon to have a little more running room.

Mixon and the Bengals’ front office are in discussion about a contract extension and if that does not get done before the start of the season, Mixon will be in a contract year. With a deep free-agent crop of running backs that could hit the open market, he will have to outperform his previous levels to really stand out from the crowd. There are high hopes in Cincinnati that he will stay with the team and sign a contract extension.