Bengals running back Joe Mixon knows his second season is supposed to be his break-out year. His 1.8 yards per attempt in the preseason? After coaches displayed 11 cut-ups from the running game in Sunday's win in Buffalo, Mixon is more convinced than ever.
"We're so close," said Mixon during a short week head coach Marvin Lewis wouldn't clarify if his starters are scrubbed from Thursday's pre-season finale against the Colts (7 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) at Paul Brown Stadium.
"Whether it's a back-side block or a front-side block," Mixon said. "Whether it's the running back's tracks … Just one guy away. Whether it's me or the linemen or a tight end or receiver. Offense is 11 guys. You have to execute. We're really close."
If Lewis is really miffed with the run game (22nd in the NFL this preseason) after Sunday's nine carries for 11 yards from Mixon and Giovani Bernard combined, maybe he'll send the No. 1s out there for a series. But that's really doubtful. Mixon is looking at the tape.
"I have to pay more attention to the little things. Whether it's my track or my eyes and read," Mixon said. "When they showed the cutups, man, there's a lot of yards out there. We have to go get them … I'm not worried about the preseason at all. I know what we can do, what we're capable of and I know what we're going to do."