Joe Mixon: Bengals are going to 'shock a lot of people'


The Cincinnati Bengals sit as the forgotten team in the AFC North.

The Cleveland Browns are the offseason darlings. The Pittsburgh Steelers are attempting to right the ship after a tumultuous season. And the Baltimore Ravens are entering Year 2 of the Lamar Jackson Project. Outside of the Bengals hiring new coach Zac Taylor, Cincinnati is mostly ignored.

Running back Joe Mixon believes it's a mistake to dismiss the Bengals as contenders, telling SiriusXM NFL Radio that the "new feeling" from the coaching staff energized the team and will give them an edge in 2019.

"Everybody is starting to buy in," Mixon said. "We're all excited to be there. Coach Taylor, the tradition that he's trying to bring to us and things like that. I believe that we're definitely going to be a real-life contender coming up here this next season. You know, people sleep on us and things like that. That's fine, we'll let them sleep. At the same time, I believe we're going to shock a lot of people.

"The city is waiting on us. I'm here to turn it around. I want to be the team that turns it around for the city because that's all they've been waiting for."

The Bengals haven't won more than seven games each of the past three seasons and haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season.

If Taylor and Co. are to turn it around, Mixon will be a key figure, after coming off a 1,168-yard rushing season. If the Bengals can stay healthy and the offensive line improves, they own the weapons in Mixon, A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd to be dangerous in a new offense in 2019.