4. Who will be Cincinnati’s second running back behind Joe Mixon?
Joe Mixon’s year to be the workhorse running back for Cincinnati is truly here. Mixon had 54 snaps, the second-most among skill position players. He had 33 touches and 150 all-purpose yards to go along with his high snap count.
Mixon has not typically seen this type of usage throughout his career thanks to Giovanni Bernard. In Mixon’s first game without Bernard, he was immediately used heavily.
There will be a mid-season battle for who backs up Mixon. Samaje Perine was the only other running back with offensive snaps with 15 snaps. Chris Evans is a good receiving back, some expected him to fill Bernard’s previous role in Cincinnati. That did not happen as Evans did not play at all on the offense.
Perine did not have a good game against the Vikings. Perine’s pass-blocking grade was an underwhelming 30.3 as he gave up one sack against Minnesota. If this continues for Perine, Evans will be given his chance to backup Mixon. This will be an area on the offense to watch for.
Snap counts will remain telling in Week 2 versus the Chicago Bears. Game plans and players who underperformed or came off a great game will surely impact snap shares against the Bears.