Andy Dalton threw for over four touchdown passes on Thursday night, but it was Joe Mixon that gave the Cincinnati Bengals the firepower on offense they needed in a 34-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Quarterback Andy Dalton has gotten most of the praise after Cincinnati won, but in reality, it was really the running game that helped them defeat the Ravens. The Bengals’ attack has a completely different look with Running Back Joe Mixon, giving their offense versatility.

Mixon played well against a tough Ravens defensive front, rushing over 22 times for 84 yards.  The performance Thursday night was more indicative than just the stats, but it was his overall impact on the game.

Dalton has had multiple games with 3 TD passes in the first half, but proves to be a meaningless statistic with several late game woes still under Head Coach Marvin Lewis.

Cincinnati was on the verge of blowing a 21-point lead, but managed to survive the second half in an important divisional win, that now pushes them to 2-0. The Bengals are now ahead of the AFC North, and will likely be there until at least Week 3.

There are of course still questions about the team, especially with Marvin Lewis and the pitiful history of being 0-7 in the playoffs. Dalton and Pro Bowl WR AJ Green have always made it interesting on
the outside, but always lacked a slot receiver, or true run support to balance the offense.

Again, Joe Mixon gives the Bengals a new repertoire on offense and of course, it will be up to Dalton if they really want to be elite. Is this the year they finally win a playoff game under Marvin Lewis?

Photo by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Kermit Whitfield) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

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