AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


Through four weeks, the Bengals have one of the league’s most inefficient run games, as the offense and RB Joe Mixon rank at or near the bottom in nearly all the success stats. It’s never just one issue with the run game, but some of the burden does fall at Mixon’s feet. 

“There was a real big emphasis just to hit the run, hit it downhill and make a fast decision,” Bengals OC Brian Callahan said via the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. “It doesn’t have to be perfect. You could see the emphasis. It worked. He was doing that at a better rate as opposed to finding a perfect lane and dancing around it a few times.”

Mixon has had slow starts to his career before but he rejects any speculation that he’s starting to hit the wall after carrying a heavy workload. 

“I’m not really worried about the stats,” Mixon said. “The end of the day, the stats is the stats and you obviously want to see growth but at the same time, as long as we are doing what we have to do to win, that is all that matters. I’m sure it was talked that the Bengals, we weren’t going to do anything, we are 0-2. Now that we are 2-2 everybody is back on the bandwagon. It’s just all about winning. That’s what it’s all about … I’m very optimistic the numbers are coming and being able to produce like I know how and like our linemen know how they can do. I have no worry and no doubt in my mind that the running game is going to take off.”




Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky admitted after the game that he was disappointed with the team’s decision to turn to first-rounder Kenny Pickett against the Jets. 

“Just come into work, be a good teammate, continue to try to be a leader for this team, and go back to work and help any way I can. It’s just a tough deal. It’s definitely not what I wanted, not what I expected, but it’s part of it,” Trubisky said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

  • Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said Pickett is proving to be a fluid and quick decision maker with an ability to anticipate throws: “The things we valued in him – fluid, quick decision-making, pro-like anticipation – have proven to be true. That’s why we took him when given the opportunity to do so. Since we acquired him, he’s done nothing but fortify that thought process.” (Gerry Dulac)
  • Steelers C Mason Cole said the team had confidence Trubisky but is now putting their faith in Pickett: “We had all the confidence in Mitch, but now we have all the confidence in Kenny. We’re just gonna take it and roll, and control what we can control.” (Brooke Pryor)

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