Not much was expected of the Cincinnati Bengals this season, even after the selection of No. 1 pick Joe Burrow at quarterback. The team has some interesting offensive weapons, but the offensive line is an absolute mess, and the defense is clearly not where it needs to be to compete.
Burrow, however, has looked quite good through two weeks. In Week 1, he had a potential game-winning touchdown throw to A.J. Green overturned by an offensive pass interference call. That was followed by a missed game-tying field goal attempt by Randy Bullock, handing the Los Angeles Chargers a 16-13 win.
The former LSU Heisman winner dialed things up on Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns. He threw the ball an incredible 61 times in just his second start, completing over 60-percent of his throws for 316 yards and three touchdowns, including his first NFL touchdown pass. At just over five yards per attempt, it wasn’t a super efficient start, but he also dealt with an onslaught by the Browns defense, giving up three sacks. Per NFL Next Gen Stats, he was pressured 21 total times, while his counterpart Baker Mayfield was only pressured three times.
Even with that pressure, Burrow was poised, and continued to fight to keep the Bengals in the game, even when the Browns continually extended their lead. For a young, winless quarterback, he’s received a ton of praise. He doesn’t seem totally comfortable with it though, because more than anything else, Joe Burrow hates losing.
The No. 1 overall pick learning about life in the NFL… pic.twitter.com/Wg2MFjsBEF
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 18, 2020
Looking at Joe Burrow’s college history, he’s right, at least during his time at Ohio State and LSU. Including his 2015 redshirt season with the Buckeyes, Burrow’s teams were 60-8, and never lost back-to-back games.
Of course, this may not be the worst thing for the team long term. Burrow is getting valuable experience, and the Cincinnati Bengals should be in line for another high pick next year to continue to build around their franchise quarterback.
Burrow will want nothing to do with that idea. As far as he’s concerned, I’m sure, 14-2 is the new goal.