5 bold predictions for Bengals’ week 14 matchup vs 49ers
By Aaron Burd
Joe Mixon yet again surpasses 100 rushing yards, two touchdowns
With the Bengals’ playing meaningful games in December for the first time since 2015, star running back Joe Mixon has been a crucial piece of getting his team to this point.
Through 12 games, Mixon has 978 rushing yards, 192 receiving yards, and 14 total touchdowns. Having extended his touchdown streak to nine-straight games on Sunday against the Chargers, Mixon has been one of the best backs in the league and a key piece to the success of the Bengals’ offense.
In Week 14, he will need to keep it rolling, especially if Joe Burrow’s finger limits the passing game. Despite being slowed down against the Chargers, there is little reason to believe Mixon won’t get back to his dominant play against the 49ers. Due to a combination of Burrow’s struggles passing the ball with a dislocated pinky and the Bengals playing from behind all game, Mixon just didn’t get time to settle in.
The biggest key to the Bengals getting a win over the 49ers on Sunday will be establishing Mixon and the running game. This is borderline blasphemy coming from me, someone who is normally against the “establish the run” mantra. However, due to Burrow fighting through an injury, a dominant running game will be crucial to the Bengals getting a victory.
While it is currently unclear whether veteran linemen Riley Reiff and Trey Hopkins will be back from injury, they both have a chance to be back. If even one of them were to return to play on Sunday, it would go a long way to helping Mixon get back into a groove.
If Burrow has struggles with pain tolerance leading up to the game on Sunday, Zac Taylor is likely to draw up a run-heavy game plan for this crucial Week 14 matchup. Fantasy owners can expect a big day from Mixon, as I project him to carry the ball 28 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns.