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Before missing the past two games due to concussion, Joe Mixon comes back at it for the Bengals

Jersey Giveaway

The match between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns was one that was always highly anticipated and one that could have serious ramifications on the rest of the season for both AFC North sides.

The Bengals managed to edge the tight affair between these two Ohio franchises at the Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, as they ran out 23-10 victors in front of their home crowd. However, there will have been many more that will have been pleased with another element of the game, too!

 

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Joe Mixon makes a solid return.

Joe Mixon has been a standout star for the Bengals this season, with the running back having been a key offensive weapon for the franchise. He has managed to lead the organization in a number of key metrics for the team this season, with FOX Sports highlighting that he is the team leader in rushing yards, as well as rushing touchdowns.

Indeed, his absence may not have been felt in terms of the scorelines recorded in the two games that he had missed due to being in the concussion protocol as Cincinnati had managed to defeat both the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs, but there is no doubt his presence would have been missed on the gridiron.

However, while he did not add to the six rushing touchdowns that he has for the season on Sunday night, his return to the team was certainly welcomed as he managed to play his role in helping them get the victory over their state rivals. Mixon recorded a total of 96 yards on 14 carries, therefore managing to achieve an average of 6.9 yards per carry as he helped the team get up the field. This took his rushing yards total to 701 for the season.

His return and the fact that he was able to have solid production with the carries that he had meant that the pressure was off of the wide receivers and the tight ends, although they continued to perform as well as ever before as Joe Burrow continued to be his efficient self in the pocket.

The quarterback threw for 239 passing yards with 18-of-33 attempts completed, making two touchdowns; one to Ja’Marr Chase as routinely as possible, while he also found Trenton Irwin with a scoring pass, too. Samajae Perine rushed for one touchdown.

 

What does the victory mean for the Bengals and the loss for the Browns?

Both teams will have known that a win in this contest will go a long way to reaching the postseason this season, and the Bengals will certainly be feeling a lot better about the result that was achieved on Sunday. Indeed, it keeps them in touch with the Baltimore Ravens, as the other two divisional rivals slugged it out in a contest that saw the Maryland side defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 16-14 victory at Heinz Field.

With the victory, though, Burrow and the Bengals still remain in the hunt for the postseason as they have a record of 9-4, and it is clear that the bookies are keeping them as a clear favorite to advance further through the season. There are a host of sportsbook options, including those listed as upcoming sportsbooks in Ohio once the activity goes live in the imminent future in the state, that place Cincinnati highly and provide some rather competitive odds that can be utilized and taken advantage of by players.

However, for the Browns, it would seem that those same sportsbooks are not as high up on the team, although Deshaun Watson can now play for the team. However, he appears to be struggling, although that might not surprise him. He did manage one touchdown after completing 26-of-42 passing attempts for 276 yards, although he also threw an interception; something Burrow was also guilty of doing.

How will the rest of the season look for Ohio’s sides?

As we approach the final four games of the NFL regular season, there is clearly still a lot for each Ohio franchise to compete for, with each game clearly still as important as any other, especially when it comes down to those that feature their rivals in the AFC North once the reaction to Week 14 all settles.

With the Ravens still to face each of their divisional opponents again, the Bengals will need to ensure they do as much as they can in their next three games as they may want to make the Week 18 match between them and Baltimore a shootout for the top spot of the AFC North.

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Cincinnati still have to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots on the road before hosting the Buffalo Bills in the weeks prior to the home visit of Baltimore, so it is far from easy, however winning each of these games may be their best route in terms of trying to win the AFC North.

Cleveland is facing an uphill challenge and with a QB that is struggling, it will need a humongous effort from everybody on the roster. The team will need to play the Ravens and the Steelers in terms of its division, while they will also take on a poor New Orleans Saints and a Washington Commanders team that is trending positively in an NFC East division that features each team with a winning record.

At this moment, it would be possible to make a strong assumption that the Bengals are the team most likely to be playing in the postseason.

Joe Mixon and co will need to perform.

However, with that said, there is no denying that Mixon, Burrow, Chase, and their entire Bengals’ locker room is going to need to perform to the best of their ability in these last four games if they are to win the AFC North.

With Baltimore continuing to do what they are able to do dispute being without their starting QB, Cincinnati can not afford to have any slip-ups, especially when there are opportunities for the Ravens to slip up against divisional rivals in the coming weeks.

Nathan Cheatham

One of the hosts of the podcast, Nathan has been writing and editing football content for over three years. Him and some close friends have been building this IDP fantasy podcast for some time now, and improvements keep coming. Nathan is the founder of both the website and the podcast. The idea came from his work with other podcasts and websites, and partnering with his roommate.
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