AFC North RB #3: Cincinnati Bengals Joe Mixon
Defending Cincinnati's offense requires weeks of preparation. The Bengals are prone to score points in the blink of an eye. Joe Burrow is considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. His receiving trio including Ja'Mar Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd torch opposing DBs. Brian Callahan's offense is dangerous in the air, but how will they fare on the ground?
Finding open running lanes was an issue for Cincinnati's rushers. In 2022, the Bengals ranked 16th in Pro Football Focus' run ratings (84.2). If the offense needed a big play, they chose to find opportunities in the air. It's cost Joe Mixon rushing attempts - turning him into a last resort.
Impressive results from the 2021 campaign led fans to believe Cincinnati would rely heavily on Mixon in the following year. Instead, the Bengals saw a shortage in their tailback's carries (270), which affected his rushing yard total. Mixon became a valuable option in the passing game but will need more attempts to move up on this list. When he's hot, the Bengals are hard to beat. He needs to become more of a priority in the offense.