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The Enquirer Beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski wrap the Bengals' 30-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns. (Sam Greene / The Enquirer)
The Enquirer / Sam Green

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) leads the offense in a dance as they celebrate Mixon's touchdown in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 12 game between Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, November 26, 2017. The Bengals improved to 5-6 with a 30-16 victory over the Browns. (Photo: Sam Greene)

Bill Lazor laughed a little at himself last Monday.

The offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals looked at the victory statistics in Denver and could not help but notice the hurried and deflated numbers. Was he doing a good job of keeping the race with 26 attempts or being crazy about getting 1.9 yards per carry?

"You both have a good perspective, depending on how you approach her," he said with a smile. . [19659000] Related: The Bengals need to be better to beat the Steelers

But inside the conversation about the worst ground offense in the league in Sunday's game against Cleveland, Lazor felt that they were positive ones to take out. They've been the same five offensive linemen and leading runners since the first half in Jacksonville, and the coaches saw rookie running back Joe Mixon as a runner each of the last weeks.

The approach, although not pretty, was in the making.

On Sunday, Mixon and the running game flourished in the Bengals' 30-16 victory over the Browns.

"From the Jacksonville game in general, just being consistent – making the four yards win an eight" Winning in the yard and making the gain of one yard is five yards, "said the head coach of the Bengals, Marvin Lewis. "Those are the things (we're looking for)."

Mixon's veteran offensive linemen also saw growth in recent weeks.

As part of regular meetings on Friday, Mixon sat down and He reviewed the plays with his group up front, there was an emphasis on taking what was there, even if it was two or three yards, and then moving the stack or improvising later.

The center Russell Bodine even told Mixon in a moment that only ran down their backs, if necessary, that Mixon took literally in a play against the Browns.

"You try to get what you can and then you take the rest for yourself," said left guard Clint Boling. Get three or four going to to the north and to the south and eventually, I think it's going to explode. "

On Sunday, Mixon was defeated three times and Giovani Bernard once. The duo also broke four runs of 10 yards or more.

"Every time Bill called a run, we were like, heck, yeah, come on," right tackle Andre Smith said. "Every time he called on a pbading play we had the same enthusiasm, but just so we could play together as a unit, we did some really good things to help Joe go outside and let him do his thing." It was exciting to see him. "

One of the best Mixon outfits out of Oklahoma was his patience, but it took time for the 21-year-old to truly exercise in the NFL.

Mixon took the ball his personal record 23 times for a personal record of 114 yards against the Browns, becoming the first rookie to break the century mark since Jeremy Hill raced for 154 against Jacksonville on November 11, 2014

"From the beginning, we are in" Our situation is to get negative yards or to get up here or here, it's about the back having to do something or keep trusting and believing, "said Mixon. of trust. Once I got to trust and believe, we got both and gave the coach an easier call to call the next play. It's better to be second and seven than second, 12 or 13. It's easier for him. "

Mixon's 5.0 yards per carry is the best since he got 6.9 on seven carries in the first half against Pittsburgh on October 22.

"We have great expectations and I attend to that every week, so it's disappointing when I do not find them," Mixon said. "But at the same time, at times like this, we're going to keep building."

And while the Browns without trumps did it against, the braking unit of Cleveland's defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, entered the No. 6 game in the league and No. 1 in keeping opponents to only 3.1 yards per carry. First delivery of the Battle of Ohio on October 1, the Bengals managed only 86 yards on the ground.

The Bengals' 169 rushing yards as a team on Sunday were, by far, the best of the season for a team that averaged 68.0 per game and 3.0 per carry entering n the game, both worst league efforts. It was only the second time the team broke the century mark, the last time it reached Green Bay (110 yards) on October 1.

Perhaps the most important thing is that the offensive line and Mixon left the game late. Leading 23-16 with just under seven minutes left, Mixon ran for 40 yards on a 75-yard drive, culminating in an 11-yard touchdown run that featured Bodine helping him reach the end zone.

"That was not quite intentionally, 53 (Joe Schobert) threw himself there and went over the top, so I was just trying to push him and he cut under him and ran straight towards me," he said. Bodine. "I did everything I could to hold him with just one arm, obviously I did not want to face him in the yard 1 looking like an idiot, I'm glad he came up."

That hurried effort also helped Andy Dalton and the offensive pbad.

Although statistically unspectacular, Dalton was captured only once and was able to use effective moves throughout the game. He averaged 7.64 yards per attempt, his most in that area since the Indianapolis game on October 29.

"The running game, especially when arriving late in the season, is key," said wide receiver A.J. Green, who caught five balls for 66 yards. "If you can not run the ball, it's hard to win it for November, December and January, we have to establish that running game, and then you can get away from that." We saw that (Sunday), he put Joe in motion, the line The offense played well, Andy did not get beaten up there as long as we have that running game, let's establish that (and) we'll be fine. "

It's a positive step because the team will face an almost imperative game against Pittsburgh next Monday night. Ironically, the first half against the Steelers was the last time the game looked as good as on Sunday.

"We have a big one next week and that's the only person that concerns us right now, it's the Pittsburgh Steelers," Mixon said. "I'm going home, I'll enjoy this victory, then (on Monday) I'll go back to work, it's huge."