Week 11 feels like years ago, but if you recall it, you may remember the Cincinnati Bengals’ explosive offensive weapons.
The Bengals ended the regular season with two wide receivers eclipsing 1,000 yards and their running back doing the same. As you prepare to watch the first Las Vegas Raiders playoff game since 2016, here are a couple of the Bengals’ offensive weapons to look out for.
This one feels obvious because, well, it is. Chase appeared to have run away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award before his numbers dropped off slightly towards the end of the season.
His rookie of the year campaign wasn’t over, however. Chase has returned to mid-season form and now remains the front runner for offensive rookie of the year. In Week 17, Chase put up a monstrous 266 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He set a rookie record as he went for over 200 yards for the second time this season.
When the Raiders played the Bengals in Week 11, Chase had six receptions for 32 yards. The Raiders will need to lean on Casey Hayward Jr. and Brandon Facyson to ensure once again that Chase doesn’t get out of control.
Mixon quietly had a spectacular regular season. He didn’t seem to get the praise he deserved at the beginning of the season, so he turned it up a notch.
Against the Raiders, Mixon seemed to kick into the next gear. He rushed 30 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Since then, Mixon has elevated his receiving game to compliment his rushing abilities. At the same time, the Raiders’ defensive attack on running backs has gotten much stronger.
It will be a battle from start to finish for the Silver and Black defense to keep Mixon wrapped up. If successful, it could be the difference between packing up and heading to the divisional round.
The Bengals’ wide receivers are sure to be the focus of the Raiders as they prepare for Saturday’s game. More than likely, players like Chase and Tyler Boyd will be noticed and covered on every snap, leaving the door open for tight end C.J. Uzomah to make big plays for Cincinnati.
Uzomah’s regular season wasn’t as flashy as others’. He finished with 493 and five touchdowns. The last time these two teams played, Uzomah had two receptions for nine yards, showing that the Raiders defense kept him well in check.
This week, Las Vegas’ defense will have to be on alert as Uzomah’s receptions have increased since Week 11. The Bengals seem to have unlimited options on their offense, but the Raiders’ defense looks poised and ready to take them on in the playoffs.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Michael Conroy