CINCINNATI, Ohio — Bengals players talked all week about being in the upper echelon of the league this week, but running back Joe Mixon took it a step further on Saturday.
“What people got to understand and understand, we’re the big dog of the AFC and that’s exactly what it is. For something to happen, it goes through us,” Mixon said.
It’s not far from what quarterback Joe Burrow said earlier this week when he pointed out that the Bengals have “beat everybody” in the biggest moments or Ja’Marr Chase describing the game as a “best of the best” game, but Mixon said his trademark confidence on full display in the Monday Night Showdown preview.
“They’re a very good football, but we match them very well,” Mixon said. “I love the matchup, it’s just a great opportunity for us to showcase what we’re all about.”
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Mixon also provided an interesting scouting report on Buffalo’s linebacking corps with Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano. The two have combined for 186 tackles and 13 passes defensed this season and are two of the higher-rated linebackers in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.
The veteran running back was asked if this was the best duo in the league when it came to stopping the checks that have become a staple of Cincinnati’s offense this season.
“They’re a good defense as a whole,” Mixon said. “They’re a solid linebacker group, but they’re not the Ravens. I mean, they’re good. They also get paid. I’m not saying they aren’t good. But they are not the ravens.”
Mixon has 55 catches for 400 receiving yards this season, and sophomore running back Samaje Perine has 37 catches for 283 yards. Mixon, who had a season-high seven catches last week (on nine targets) for 43 yards, sees that production as an extension of the running game.
He sounded confident the Bengals’ offense would have no trouble adjusting to whatever Buffalo throws at them Monday night.
“We have other ways to attack them,” Mixon said. “The best part is that they have to play us fair. If you want to cheat, no matter what you want to do, we’re going to make you pay no matter how you want to do it. It’s up to you, however you want to play it. But at the same time, we must play our game and we must not let anyone dictate what we want to do. That’s exactly what it’s going to be.”
Michael Niziolek covers the Bengals cleveland.com. Follow him on Twitter @michaelniziolek, click here for more coverage.
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