CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Bengals star running back Joe Mixon sat at his locker on Wednesday with a posture that seemed to say “no media today,” but when he stood up and faced the cameras, he had plenty to say about the Bengals 0-2 start.
“Yeah, I take it personal on me," Mixon said.
Mixon has just 27 yards rushing on 17 carries through two games. He’s averaging 1.6 yards a carry following a season where he led the entire AFC in rushing.
“These two performances I’ve been displaying have been terrible. I’m a peon right now. I’ve got to go home and look at the man in the mirror and step up - make something happen," he said.
The Bengals are second in the NFL in passing, but dead last in rushing with 59 yards rushing on 33 attempts in two weeks of football.
“It’s not the team. It’s me, honestly. I’m not making the plays I need to make," Mixon said. "I’m not putting my team in good positions to win. There ain’t no reason I shouldn’t be averaging at least  yards a game. I’ve been looking ‘hella’ weak lately, but I’m going to fix it, for sure.”
According to Pro Football Focus, the Bengals are ranked 26th in the league in run-blocking with injuries across the offensive line playing a role.
The issues stem from a long line of misfortune: first round pick and offensive tackle Jonah Williams suffered a season-ending injury in the offseason, veteran guard Clint Boling retired in the offseason, starting left tackle Cordy Glenn has been sidelined with a concussion and starting left guard Michael Jordan left Sunday’s game with a knee injury.
“I like guys that are accountable, whether it’s on them or not,” said head coach Zac Taylor of Mixon taking the blame. “We’ve hammered out all the reasons for our lack of success - it’s very clear it’s the entire unit. There is no need to point fingers, but again, Joe has been great and he’s accountable.”
The Bengals (0-2) travel to play the Buffalo Bills (2-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m.