October 23, 2020

Grading Joe Burrow’s first win as an NFL starter

3 min read
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow got his first win as an NFL starter on Sunday. Before that,...

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow got his first win as an NFL starter on Sunday. Before that, he was rather undeserving 0-2-1 in his NFL career, but with plenty of personal success under his belt. The Bengals lost their first two games by a combined eight points, before frustratingly tying with the Philadelphia Eagles in a game they easily could have won in Week 3.

Burrow has been primarily deemed one of the only consistently reliable pieces the Bengals have in place on either side of the ball so far in 2020. He delivered yet again, as Cincinnati was finally able to put on in the win column.

Burrow breaks another record, Overall grade: B+

Joe Burrow is no stranger to breaking records; ask anyone who watched his performances at LSU. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that he’s continued that trend into the NFL, becoming the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to record at least 300 passing yards in three straight performances.

The Bengals offense looked much better overall than what we’ve seen in the past when Burrow has been forced to make quick decisions to compensate for other issues and so often having to evade pressure. However, that wasn’t the case on Sunday, as Burrow was not sacked once, and the offense put up more than 500 yards of total offense.

As per the usual, Burrow showed good pocket presence and mostly solid decision-making, demonstrating steady progression as a rookie already performing at a higher level than some believed he would when making the transition.

Related | NFL Recap: Mike Tanier tackles the biggest stories from Sunday’s games

Burrow was 25-of-36 passing for 300 yards with one touchdown and one interception. That was a stat line that may have been even loftier if not for a couple of incidents. First was a holding penalty on what would have been a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd in the first half. The second came when another possible scoring pass to tight end Drew Sample went off his facemask and was hauled in by Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack instead.

Burrow, and the offense picked up the most steam in the third quarter as the quarterback completed 7-of-11 passing attempts for 75 yards as the team outscored the Jaguars by 17 points.

What Burrow had to say about his performance and the win

As is so typical of his demeanor, Burrow wasn’t overly enthusiastic and said the game ball was “going back in the bag,” not to be kept or placed in any type of trophy case.

“We got the win, that’s all I care about,” Burrow said. “It feels good to win, I’m gonna do whatever it takes to win football games. I’ll throw it zero or 100 times, I’ll throw for seven or 500 it doesn’t matter to me.”

Related | Joe Mixon’s hat trick of touchdowns lead to Bengals first victory

NFL Network’s Michael Silver reported Burrow gave himself a grade of a ‘B-‘ on the afternoon. However, he certainly has the ringing endorsement of his teammates, including safety Jessie Bates.

“He’s going to be the face of this franchise for a very long time.”

What’s next for the Bengals?

Up next, the Bengals face a tough road matchup against the Baltimore Ravens (3-1). Burrow has his work cut out against a historically dominant Baltimore defense. The two teams are set to kick off at noon CST on Sunday in M&T Bank Stadium, where the Bengals are already considered to be major underdogs.

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