6 days ago
In 1973, running back Essex Johnson had 142 yards from scrimmage for the Cincinnati Bengals in their season opener, the most-ever up until that point.
It took 45 years, but second-year rusher Joe Mixon broke that mark last Sunday when he caught five passes for 54 yards and rumbled for 95 yards and a touchdown for Cincy.
And now that Mixon is the undisputed top dog, er, cat, in Cincinnati, he’s poised to match that week in and week out while breaking out as one of the top stars in the NFL this season.
At least that’s what people who see the running back compete every day at practice, like his All-Pro teammate A.J. Green and Bengals RB coach Kyle Caskey, seem to think.
“Last year, he was in a different position. He wasn’t the starter. It wasn’t his position,” Caskey said. “Now it is his position and he’s taken ownership of it. He’s not worried about when the next carry is going to come or when he’s going to get back in the game due to the rotation. He’s playing consistently because he knows the chances are going to be there.”
Green agrees, comparing Mixon to two of the NFL’s best current overall running backs.
“You mention Le’Veon or [Todd] Gurley,” Green said. “He’s right up there with those guys.”
See if he has what it takes yourself tonight when Mixon and the Bengals take on the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football.Read the full story at ESPN