3 things we learned from Bengals’ dominant week 12 win vs Steelers

Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) – Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Joe Mixon is on a mission

Many media and fans alike, myself included, have questioned Joe Mixon and his willingness to play when even slightly dinged up. 2019 and 2020 both saw Mixon sitting, week after week with mysterious lower leg ailments, yet dancing on Instagram and running on the sidelines during games.

While it’s fair to question whether Mixon could play, his performance in 2021 has all but wiped away any bad vibes from the first two years of the Zac Taylor era.

Mixon currently is third in the league in yards, has double-digit touchdowns, including four consecutive games with at least two, and is the driving force behind what is making this offense click right now. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are invaluable, but Mixon is making this offense work.

AFC North football has historically been about who can control the ball in November and December. Sounds like Pittsburgh and Baltimore, right?

The ability and willingness to pound the ball and take the will away from opposing defenses has been something in short supply, even when the Bengals had the finesse teams of Palmer/Johnson. This is no longer the case.

A healthy Mixon — and a healthy dose of Mixon — is exactly what Cincinnati needs to navigate the last month+ of the season and grind to the playoffs.