DETROIT - Head coach Zac Taylor celebrated the Bengals' first back-to-back road win since 2015 and savored another big win after a loss. The Bengals followed up the 20-17 loss in Chicago with a 14-point win in Pittsburgh. On Sunday it was 23 points by virtue of Sunday's 34-11 victory over the Lions after last Sunday's overtime loss to the Packers.
"That's the next step for this team. I told the team (Saturday) night I saw how you responded to the Bears loss in Pittsburgh, and we're going to need that again," Taylor said. "There was some bitter sweetness earlier this week with that loss (to Green Bay). We were anxious to get this one underway and put that behind us. Just proud of the way the guys handled the week. They were focused. A short trip (Saturday) night. Guys were focused. You just had the sense in pregame warmups that this was the kind of game our guys were going to play. They did."
ALL-PURPOSE: Five of running back Joe Mixon's 153 scrimmage yards came at the end of his 40-yard catch-and-run touchdown on fourth-and-one to make it 17-0 on the first drive of the second half and he tipped his hat to the man that made the block at the Detroit 5. Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase shoved Lions safety Will Harris to the side to secure Mixon's first receiving touchdown of the season.
"I keep telling everyone that's Ja-Marr's touchdown, not mine," Mixon said. "He made a hell of a block, threw somebody to the ground and I just finished."
VOICE-OVER: The Bengals had quarterback Joe Burrow on voice rest and the results were load and clear. His passer rating of 115.9 yielded three more touchdown passes to give him 14 on the season and on pace to become the first Bengal with 40 touchdown passes.
"We didn't do any voice cadence at all during practice. We were able to get in all the reps we needed to," Burrow said. "It was sore all week, but that's it and so I was able to get in all the work I needed to get in. Then today we went on voice all day. We didn't go on silent at all. We powered it through it today and another week of rest will do it good."
JOE-J'MARR AGAIN: How about for the fourth time in six games Burrow feathered a pass of at least 34 yards to Chase in the last 37 seconds of the first half? The previous three went for TDs. This one got a field goal.
"Ja'Marr just keeps making plays in those situations," Burrow said. "He's just going to keep making those plays, that's the kind of guy he is."
According to Elias, Chase became the first player since the Lions' Earl McCullouch to catch a pass of at least 34 yards in his first six NFL games. McCullouch did it in seven straight.
GAME BALLS: They went to middle linebacker Logan Wilson and strong safety Vonn Bell, who teamed to make what turned out to be the game-changing interception. It was Bell's forced fumble that popped into Wilson's hands for his fourth interception of the season at the Bengals 26 after a 25-yard reception when the Bengals led, 7-0.
"Turnovers win games so Logan (Wilson) and Vonn Bell," Taylor said. "They had that big turnover off our turnover (Burrow interception), and that was key because this is kind of what Detroit has done. They live on those turnovers and those mistakes the other team's offense has made. That could've been a 7-7 game right away and this game is totally different."
They could have got the game ball for holding the Lions to 36 yards rushing on 18 carries, matching their low since a 2015 games against the Ravens.
"We have a lot of strengths," said cornerback Chidobe Awuzie of the defense. "As a DB, our best friend is the front seven, obviously the D-Line. I think they've had a great start to this season, today is another example of that, putting pressure on Jared (Goff).. We're able to drop in our zones, play man, play tight and be confident that they're going to have pressure on them so I would definitely say the D-Line."
Bell (seven), Wilson (six) and Awuzie were the leading tacklers.
SLANTS AND SCREENS: Right guard Jackson Carman didn't start after coming off the COVID list Friday, but he went in on the third series after rookie Trey Hill had a holding penalty and a false start. But Carman looked ill right before Mixon's touchdown and had to leave. Taylor had no update.
It appeared the Bengals made a change at punt returner after Darius Phillips got no gain on the Lions' first punt. Wide receiver Trenton Irwin took the rest.
Check out some of the top images between the Bengals and Lions in Week 6 of the 2021 NFL regular season.