A.J. Green says the Bengals have a player just as good as Le’Veon Bell or Todd Gurley
It seems the Bengals have a star in the making
Not only did Mixon do some serious damage on the ground with 95 rushing yards, but the second-year running back also caught five passes for 54 yards. In an era where dual-threat running backs have become all the rage, there are some players in the Bengals locker room who believe that their guy is one of the best in the business.
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"You mention him with Le'Veon or Gurley," Green said this week, via the team's official website. "He's there with those guys."
Of course, Mixon actually comes with one advantage over each of those players: Unlike Bell, Mixon is actually playing right now, and unlike Gurley, Mixon doesn't cost a fortune. The contract extension Gurley signed during the offseason pays him an average of $14.38 million per year, which is far more than Mixon is making under his rookie deal. Mixon's rookie contract pays out an average of $1.36 million per year through the 2020 season.
The performance against the Colts was a big one for Mixon, who spent most of his rookie year sharing snaps with the now departed Jeremy Hill. In 2017, Mixon only had one game the entire season where he topped 149 total yards, the number he reached against Indy.
Mixon's performance against the Colts definitely turned some heads in the Bengals locker room. Not only was Green impressed, but so was quarterback Andy Dalton.
"He made some explosive runs and he is so talented, he can do it all," Dalton said.
The win over the Colts marked just the second time since 2011 that the Bengals have come back to win a game that they were trailing by six or more points at halftime. According to Mixon, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis did a good job of keeping his team mentally in the game.
"I kept telling the receivers to keep doing their thing," Mixon said. "On the perimeter they were running the guys off or keep blocking and holding them off. I'm very excited. Marvin [Lewis] came in here [at half] and told us to settle down. Can't beat ourselves. We re-grouped and went one drive at a time. The line was great. They were grinding it and pounding it."
If Mixon wants to be consistently be mentioned in the same breath as a Gurley or a Bell, he's going to have start putting up big numbers every week. In 2017, Mixon didn't rush for 60 or more yards in consecutive weeks a single time. The running back could end that drought as soon as Thursday when the Bengals host the Ravens in an AFC North showdown.
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