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Mixon runs wild, Bengals snap five-game losing streak

Published: Sunday, December 16, 2018 @ 3:35 PM
Updated: Sunday, December 16, 2018 @ 4:24 PM


            CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 16: Karl Joseph #42 of the Oakland Raiders and Tahir Whitehead #59 combine to tackle Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 16: Karl Joseph #42 of the Oakland Raiders and Tahir Whitehead #59 combine to tackle Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Joe Mixon had another big game, and this time he was rewarded with a win.

Sparked by Mixon’s second straight 100-yard rushing performance, the Cincinnati Bengals ended a five-game losing streak with a 30-16 win over the Oakland Raiders in their home finale Sunday in front of 44,568 fans at Paul Brown Stadium.

Mixon carried the ball 27 times for a season-high 129 yards and two touchdowns to help the Bengals (6-8) overcome a rough day for quarterback Jeff Driskel, who completed 14 of 33 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Mixon had never recorded 100 yards in back-to-back games but has now topped that mark six times this season, including in a loss last week to the Chargers.

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The 2017 second-round draft pick needs just five yards to reach 1,000 yards for the season, a milestone wide receiver Tyler Boyd hit with his second catch of the day in the first quarter before turning the show over to Mixon.

Boyd’s first three catches, all on the same drive, helped Cincinnati take the first lead — one it wouldn’t lose. His first grab came on a critical fourth-down play, and moments later, he reached his milestone with a 21-yard catch that put Cincinnati on Oakland’s 6-yard line. Boyd capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown reception, which he celebrated by doing an Irish jig as a nod to former Bengals receiver Chad Johnson.

Cincinnati forced Oakland to punt on the next drive and moved the ball 90 yards to extend the lead to 14-0 on Joe Mixon’s 1-yard run up the middle with 10:17 left in the second quarter. Mixon had a 47-yard carry earlier in that possession.

Hardy Nickerson then forced a fumble, which Darqueze Dennard recovered, to put the Bengals back on the Raiders’ 34-yard line, and Randy Bullock pushed through a 34-yard field goal to make it 17-0. That was the second takeaway for Cincinnati’s defense after Carlos Dunlap picked up Sam Hubbard’s forced fumble in the first quarter.

The Bengals tried to take advantage of the first turnover with a deep pass to John Ross on the next play from scrimmage, but Driskel badly underthrew Ross, who had beat double coverage to get open, and the Raiders safety Erik Harris intercepted it. Oakland went three-and-out after that, though, and Cincinnati had a short field to get on the board with Boyd’s first touchdown.

Trailing 17-0, Oakland was able to cut down the lead to 10 after Darren Waller turned a short pass into a 41-yard reception to set up Lee Smith’s 1-yard touchdown catch from Derek Carr with 3:48 left in the second quarter. The Bengals would add a 38-yard field goal shortly after the two-minute warning to carry a 20-7 lead into halftime.

Boyd ended up injuring his right knee just before halftime and did not return. He finished with four catches for 38 yards, bringing his season total to 1,028 yards.

Cincinnati’s offense stalled in the third quarter as the Bengals managed just 36 yards, and Oakland made it a one-possession game with a pair of field goals. The teams then traded field goals to start the fourth quarter before Alex Erickson’s 77-yard kick return set Mixon up for his second touchdown to seal it, making it 30-16 with 4:04 left.