The Cincinnati Bengals’ offense is loaded with talent at all of the skill positions. From AP Offensive Rookie of the Year wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to workhorse running back Joe Mixon, the Bengals have a plethora of weapons for quarterback Joe Burrow to choose from. With so many options, who has Burrow been targeting the most in the red zone during the playoffs?
The Bengals practically lived in the red zone during their Wild Card match up against the Las Vegas Raiders. Cincinnati had five red zone possessions against Las Vegas, scoring points on each of their trips across the 20 yard line, thanks to three Evan McPherson field goals and two passing touchdowns.
Joe Burrow ➡️ CJ Uzomah touchdown puts the Bengals up 7-3 early— SportX (@SportX_Project) January 15, 2022
Current live odds @ SportX ⬇️
Bengals -7.5 Raiders
Tyler Boyd and Mixon led the team in red zone targets, each receiving two looks from Burrow. Boyd caught both of his red zone targets, including a 10-yard touchdown. Mixon also received seven carries inside the 20 yard line, his most red zone rushing attempts during the playoffs.
As expected, it was much more difficult to even get to the red zone against the Tennessee Titans. Cincinnati crossed the Titans 20 yard line twice, scoring their lone red zone rushing touchdown of the playoffs on a 16-yard carry by Mixon. They also added another McPherson field goal. Tight end C.J. Uzomah had the Bengals’ only red zone target of the game, gaining one yard on the play. Burrow was sacked on his other two drop backs.
#Bengals-#Titans— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) January 23, 2022
CIN created some run game production at the start of the second half. Saw some more 12 personnel there (1RB, 2TE).
Joe Mixon had 34 yards rushing (and a TD) on the 3rd QTR scoring drive. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/6zzKCbPbXv
Another positive takeaway from this particular sequence is the fact that the Titans almost exclusively played Cover 4 against the Bengals once they entered the red zone. Expect the Los Angeles Rams to duplicate this strategy to an extent, as they normally play a good bit of Cover 4 in the red zone.
Burrow and Co. made four trips to the red zone in their AFC Championship contest against the Kansas City Chiefs, which required overtime. Much like the rest of the playoffs, the Bengals were pass happy inside the Chiefs’ 20 yard line. They threw eight times, including a 2-yard touchdown pass to Chase. He led the way in targets with three.
The touchdown to Ja'Marr Chase. And a 2-point conversion. Joe Burrow brings Bengals back to tie Chiefs as third quarter wanes...— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) January 30, 2022
21 all here in KC.
Out of their four red zone possessions, the Bengals scored one touchdown and three field goals. The fourth and final trip to red zone was much more about setting up the game-winning 31-yard field goal than scoring a touchdown. This was reflected in the play calling, as it was the first possession since the Raiders game where Cincinnati called more than one run play in the red zone.
While the Bengals have scored points on every red zone possession, they have shown the propensity to settle for field goals 63 percent of the time. Hopefully, Cincinnati will continue to struggle to put up touchdowns once they cross the Rams’ 20 yard line this Sunday. Perhaps, even throw an interception? Eric Weddle, I’m looking at you!