Bengals vs. Chiefs: Who has the edge on offense?

Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Joe Mixon
Joe Mixon (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

1. Comparing the running backs

Make no mistake about it, the ball will be flying through the air this Sunday afternoon. But, the running game will have a say in how things will ultimately shake out as well.

Remember when pundits claimed that running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire should have been used more prominently during their Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season? The second-year player was terrific in year one, racking up over 800 yards on the ground.

This season, on the other hand, has been a forgettable one. Not only did Edwards-Helaire only rush for 517 yards and four touchdowns this year but in the playoffs, he’s been downright awful.

In two games, he’s managed to rush for just 85 yards. In fact, Patrick Mahomes is their best runner so far in the postseason, rushing for 98 yards and a ridiculous 9.8 yards per career.

Interestingly enough, Joe Mixon of the Bengals nabbed his first Pro Bowl selection this year after rushing for over 1,200 yards in the regular season but in the playoffs thus far, it seems as though he’s been stuck in the mud. Through two games, Mixon has rushed for only 102 yards on 31 carries, resulting in a paltry 3.3 yards per carry.

If we step back and take a look at their numbers as a whole, the Chiefs increase their lead even more. Currently, the Chiefs lead every postseason team in rushing yards with 144 per game. The Bengals, you may ask? Are outside of the top ten, with only 74 rushing yards.

It may seem strange but despite having a Pro Bowl running back at their disposal, the Bengals simply weren’t a very good rushing team this year. They ranked 23rd in the regular season, with only 102.5 yards per game. The Chiefs, although they weren’t great, were noticeably better, averaging 115 yards on the ground, good for 16th.

Verdict: Chiefs

On paper, the Bengals appear to have the edge but don’t let Mixon’s gaudy numbers fool you. The Chiefs are the better running team. Primarily due to the legs of Mahomes.