The Cincinnati Bengals got back into the win column in Week 9, defeating the Carolina Panthers 42-21. It was a nice bounce-back performance after the Bengals were thoroughly embarrassed by their AFC North rivals, the Cleveland Browns, on Monday Night Football to wrap up Week 8.
That performance against the Panthers provided the team with some positive momentum heading into their bye this week. The Bengals are in a good spot at 5-4 and are getting the job done on both sides of the ball.
The defense put a ton of pressure on P.J. Walker and turned that into multiple turnovers, which the offense took full advantage of. Running back Joe Mixon garnered all of the headlines as he scored five touchdowns in the game; four on the ground rushing and one receiving.
With Mixon running roughshod through the Carolina defense, there wasn’t much asked of quarterback Joe Burrow. He completed 22-of-28 pass attempts for 206 yards and one touchdown, adding four rushes for nine yards and another score.
While that was far from Burrow’s biggest day of the season, it was still a very solid outing. According to PFF, it was an excellent one, as Burrow finished as the highest-graded passer in Week 9 with an 89.9.
Rounding out the top-four behind him was Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars with an 87.6, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens with a, 81.6 and Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins with an 81.3.
While the numbers weren’t extraordinary, Burrow having such an efficient game was nice to see. He struggled a bit against the Browns, who brought heavy pressure throughout the night, sacking him five times.
There were also concerns that he may find difficulties with Ja’Marr Chase sidelined by a hip injury. Without his No. 1 receiver, he did struggle against the Browns, but there were no such issues present against the Panthers with Mixon taking the lead.
Leaning on the running game is something we could see more of until Chase is healthy to return. But, we know Burrow is more than capable of lighting it up still and he has good pass catchers in Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst to get the ball to.