Bengals Roster: 10 most important players not named Joe Burrow

Bengals. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Bengals. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Joe Mixon & Evan McPherson

Not only will this new offensive line need to protect Burrow, but they’ll also provide blocking for Mixon. Mixon has been a great and reliable back for Cincy since 2018 in his second year. Last year he statistically had the best year of his career with over 1,200 yards rushing and 13 rushing touchdowns, plus over 300 yards receiving and three receiving touchdowns.

Mixon is only getting better through the years. He did however have a step back in 2020 due to a foot injury.

With a better O-line, Mixon could provide relief to Burrow. With Burrow hopefully not playing from behind due to poor protection, he can sit back and let Mixon pound the ball. Not only that but they’ll be able to better incorporate the play-action pass.

This will force the defense to stay honest and possibly even open a deep pass every now and then. A healthy Mixon allows the Bengals offense to strike from several different angles, only becoming more deadly.

Another much-improved aspect of the Bengals’ scoring ability is in the special teams department. Evan McPherson showed last year that he can be relied upon in clutch times to either win a game or keep the team alive and force over time.

For many years Cincy has struggled with reliable kicking. Too many times did Cincinnati’s kicker miss a game-winning kick forcing a tie or they would lose games in which they should have won. The only game last year in which the good guys could’ve won but due to McPherson didn’t was against Green Bay.

Mason Crosby was also missing everything that day as well, so McPherson’s poor play can be weather-attributed. However, in general, McPherson doesn’t miss and his confidence only grew throughout the season. Building to call his shot Babe Ruth style against the Titans to send Cincy to the AFC Championship game.

That’s the kind of confidence you want in your players.