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Why Joe Mixon's TD celebration was more than a dance

It was indicative of a new mindset for the Bengals
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Posted at 1:36 AM, Nov 30, 2021

CINCINNATI — In the fourth quarter of a 41-10 win over the Steelers, running back Joe Mixon scored the Bengals' final touchdown of the game.

After falling into the endzone, he quickly summoned his offensive linemen for a group dance.

It was the two-step, specifically in the style of Motown bands like The Temptations.

The idea for the dance came right before the play.

"Big (Quinton) Spain was like, 'What are we going to do?'" recalled Mixon. "We ended up coordinating that real quick."

They had a little extra time between plays to coordinate it.

Prior to Mixon's touchdown, Bengals wide receive Tee Higgins caught a pass, which was initially ruled a touchdown on the field.

After a lengthy review, though, officials determined Higgins was down just short of the goal line.

The review process allowed just enough time for the Bengals' offensive players to coordinate the dance.

"I wasn't familiar with it," said offensive lineman Jonah Williams. "I'm sure no one could tell, from my flawless execution of the dance."

Players coordinate touchdown celebrations all the time. Even Mixon, himself, made a roll the dice gesture after scoring a touchdown last week in Las Vegas.

The coordination of this one — and the explanation behind it — feels different.

In hearing multiple accounts of conversations from that huddle, not a single player prefaced anything with the words: "If we score."

There wasn't any doubt.

Sure, the Bengals had already scored 34 points in the game. The Steelers had no answer for their run game, which accounted for nearly 200 yards.

But this is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When was the last time the Bengals were far enough ahead of the Steelers, to even think about coordinating dances between plays?

It didn't matter that the officials overturned the touchdown ruling. Even watching the game, it felt meaningless. The Bengals were going to score anyway.

When was the last time you felt that way?