Bengals new-look running back unit ranked near bottom of NFL

Cincinnati's backfiekld will have a different look in 2024.
Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Bengals underwent a change at the running back position this offseason, as the team traded away Joe Mixon and replaced him with Zack Moss. Second-year back Chase Brown is also expected to shoulder a larger load. Behind those two guys is a lot of inexperience.

A new-look backfield

So, where does Cincinnati's running back room rank compared to the rest of the teams in the league? Well, according to Pro Football Focus, not well. In a recent ranking of the 32 running back rooms in the league, the Bengals came in at No. 30, ahead of only the Las Vegas Raiders and Dallas Cowboys.

From PFF:

"The Bengals signed Zack Moss this offseason to replace Joe Mixon, who the team traded to the Texans. Moss has recorded steady rushing grades in the 70.0s in each of his four seasons with a healthy yards per carry average right around 4.0. . . Cincinnati also has Chase Brown, their fifth-round pick from 2023, to bring some added speed to the backfield. Brown had a tough rookie season, recording a 59.0 rushing grade."

PFF might not be especially high on the unit, but Moss thinks he and Chase complement each other well and thus will make things difficult for opposing defenses.

"We're definitely two different types of backs," Moss said. "Like I said, he's crazy fast. But, you know, I think that will play a good role in the offense, keeps the defense on its feet, heels, whatever. And then, you get guys fresh all year long, things like that. So, like I said, I'm looking forward to continuing to build that chemistry.

". . . I mean, I'm looking forward to seeing a guy like Chase be able to do a lot of good things and continue to, you know, build himself throughout this league," he added. "And when it's my turn, I'll go out there and do the same things, and I think when you got two backs, it makes it a little easier."

Will the Bengals ultimately regret trading Mixon? Time will tell, but their new-look backfield will have an excellent opportunity to prove doubters wrong in 2024.