Bengals’ star running back Joe Mixon has been finding more success running to the right, a somewhat surprising development.
The struggles of the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive line have been discussed and well documented. The unit as a whole has struggled to give Joe Burrow enough time to get set and throw the ball downfield. The right side of the line has been particularly suspect at holding anyone back. As poor as the right side of the line has been in pass protection though, they have been the go-to side for Joe Mixon’s biggest runs.
Week one was the better of the two weeks that Mixon has had on the ground. When looking at where his top runs are going, it’s clear they are going through the right side of the offensive line. Mixon has only had a few runs that have gone for over five yards this season, but they are almost exclusively coming when he runs the ball behind the side bookended by Bobby Hart.
Even in week two, when Mixon struggled to get much of anything going against the Cleveland Browns, his biggest successes came on that right side of the line. In fact, all three runs that Mixon has had that went for more than 10 yards have come when rushing to the right side of the field.
Joe Mixon and the Bengals should test this trend in week three
Now, it’s still too early in the season to start making definitive claims based on two games worth of data. However, a trend seems to be developing that should be explored this week against the Eagles. Run Mixon to the right side of the field and allow his big blockers to clear rushing lanes.
It is critical that the Bengals get the running game working on a weekly basis so that the pressure does not fall exclusively on Joe Burrow. Even if the offensive line struggles in pass protection situations, maybe they can redeem themselves by becoming a run-oriented unit in Cincinnati.