Whew. We weren't worried at all heading into Week 3. Not one bit. The Cincinnati Bengals finally got their first tally in the win column on Sunday against the New York Jets.
And oh, what a journey it took to get here. After starting 0-2 this season, Joe Burrow put together a sizzling first quarter performance to take the early lead against the Jets, and the Bengals never looked back -- Cincy took home the 27-12 dub.
Naturally, there were both studs and duds from Week 3 -- some Bengals played their most impressive games of the year thus far while others experienced a steep decline in form.
Here are your winners and losers from Week 3's victory.
Wilson finished with seven tackles and one interception on Sunday and came away as a clear winner from Week 3.
He and Akeem Davis-Gaither kept the Bengals' run defense elite and locked down the middle of the field. Even though Wilson faced a relatively tame Jets passing attack, he showed his big-play ability and proved yet again why he's one of the most valuable defenders on the team.
Wilson feasted in the middle of the field last year and is well on his way to another productive campaign in Cincy. The Bengals' linebacker unit looks tough this season.
Usually Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins reserves a spot on the winners' list, but today slot guy Tyler Boyd gets the nod.
In a game where Chase was noticeably quiet and Higgins got knocked around, Boyd took advantage of every opportunity, turning one midfield catch into a jaw-dropping 56-yard touchdown run.
It's the kind of thing we expect Chase to do, but Boyd turned on the jets and blasted a hole through New York's backfield. To give credit where it's due, New York's cornerbacks played a great game as Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed stayed tight on Chase all game, yet they couldn't stop Boyd from making that game-changing play.
Boyd has scored two touchdowns in the last three weeks despite not getting that many looks, and Cincy will continue to rely on his endzone production for the rest of the season.
Another Bengals defender deserves a mention and that's D.J. Reader. Reader went down in the third quarter with a knee injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game, but prior to his injury, he was playing an exceptional game.
The defensive tackle was everywhere on the field and seemed one step ahead of the Jets' offense at all times. Cincy's run D held Breece Hall and Michael Carter to just 78 total rushing yards, forcing New York to make plays in the air.
Reader was one of Cincy's shining run defenders last year and this season he's as effective on the D-line as ever.
Now for the losing portion. Joe Mixon finished the game with just 12 carries for 24 yards, outperformed by backup Samaje Perine.
Mixon's ankle was reportedly bothering him late in the game, which is why Zac Taylor gave Perine more snaps in the fourth quarter, yet that's doesn't excuse Mixon's poor running performance for the entire first half.
Part of his decline has to do with the struggles of the O-line, and it should be noted that the Jets are defending surprisingly well against the run this year; still, we expected more on the ground from a talented back like Mixon.
At one point, Joe Burrow opted to throw the ball on a fourth-and-1 rather than hand the ball off, which just goes to show how much he stopped trusting the run game.
Let's hope Mixon improves as the team's primary ball-carrier and starts getting more breakaway runs and touchdowns.
In truth, Eli Apple didn't play a terrible game statistically. The notorious corner finished with two tackles and one pass defended and helped contain New York's passing offense all game.
We only included him because of one particular highlight that just made us laugh. Take a look below.
Joe Flacco failing to complete a touchdown pass is obviously a win for the Bengals side, yet we're not sure what exactly Apple is doing afterward. It seems like a celebration, but....it doesn't look very good.
Keep doing you, though, Eli Apple. We'll keep supporting you until you start losing coverage assignments.
Any winners or losers we missed from Week 3?