Cincinnati Bengals rookie rusher Joe Mixon vocalized his frustrations about not getting a carry in the second half of the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7. Mixon had seven carries for 48 yards before Cincinnati essentially abandoned the run at the half. He also had three catches for 20 yards in the contest. Mixon has emerged as the lead back in the Bengals backfield over Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill.
Sunday Mixon gets a dream matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have been gashed the past two games by opposing running backs. In Week 6 they gave up 131 yards and a score to Derrick Henry and 40 yards and a touchdown to DeMarco Murray of the Tennesse Titans. The following week they let the Jacksonville Jaguars backups, T.J. Yeldon and Chris Irovy rush for 122 and 47 yards, respectively, and each scored a touchdown.
Fantasy impact: The Bengals’ offensive coordinator change helped the passing game, but there is still a lot of reluctance to running the ball. Mixon is a powerful back and he is running well, averaging right around 7 yards per carry in Week 7. However, as Mixon frustratingly pointed out after Sunday’s loss, the Bengals just do not want to commit to running the ball. That annoys the running backs and their owners.
This week, the Bengals would be silly to abandon the run. Running on the Colts is too easy. If Mixon does not get the chance to run the ball all game, the only people to blame will be the Bengals’ coaching staff. He will have a big game if they do not get in his way.