Breaking Down Joe Mixon’s Long Run Vs. Panthers As Bengals O-Line Counters Narrative

Breaking Down Joe Mixon’s Long Run Vs.  Panthers As Bengals O-Line Counters Narrative
Breaking Down Joe Mixon’s Long Run Vs.  Panthers As Bengals O-Line Counters Narrative

Translation. Right guard Alex Cappa (who has been terrific all year) and right tackle La’el Collins (finding his crafty veteran legs at sea just in time) teamed up to swallow Matt Ioaninidis with three techniques.

Left tackle Jonah Williams went right and blew up linebacker Frankie Luvu off the edge. Rookie left guard Cordell Volson also pulled right and picked off defensive end Marquis Haynes, Sr., while Karras cooled a guy coming off a 12-tackle game in tackle Derrick Brown.

Mixon, who started to Burrow’s left in the shotgun, took a step left and then countered, flashed right as he took the handoff, blew between Collins, now on the left side, and Williams, now on the right side who opened up the right wing.

Then, downfield, tight end Mitchell Wilcox suddenly appeared after lining up wide right. He tied up safety Myles Hartsfield just long enough that when Hartsfield came off, Mixon was able to fly past his dive.

“A lot of hard blocking (but) it puts the defense in one-on-one situations and we executed all our one-on-ones,” Karras says.

Wilcox was a busy man Sunday. The Bengals are primarily a three-receiver team with Hayden Hurst at tight end. But with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (hip) missing his second game, Wilcox played Hurst and fellow tight end Devin Asiasi much more as the Bengals used more tight end sets than usual.

“We knew we could go out on these guys,” Wilcox says. “You’re getting gross.”

“Not a direct downhill because you have two pullers,” says Callahan. “But it’s gap-form related. It’s supposed to hit a little more downhill.

“It’s a light (shot) gun run. Did a better job of mixing it up this week. Mixing up the pass game in the gun matching the run formations and all that. It’s generally a pass formation that we ran out of. The tight end is open , he’s not attached to the core. It goes both ways. You try to sell pass formations and run the ball. You try to show run formations and pass the ball. Mix them up and it makes it difficult on defense.”

Callahan says they’ve run four or five different versions of the counter this season. But this particular one? They ran one much like it in last year’s AFC title game.

Jonah Williams, the fifth-year former first-rounder, is a good athlete and pulling is one of the best parts of his game. He rarely pulls to the right, but in the past he pulled to the left, clearing the way for Mixon’s two-yard touchdown run that started his record day with five touchdowns.

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