It took four games, but Joe Burrow got his first win as a professional on Sunday, helping to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to victory this past weekend, albeit over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bengals are now actually 1-2-1, and have escaped two games without a loss, as they tied with the Philadelphia Eagles the week prior.
After Cincinnati lost to the Cleveland Browns in week two, Burrow remarked that he believed it was the first time since he started playing football that he’s ever experienced a loss in back-to-back weeks. Can he manage to do that for the rest of the season?
It’s unlikely, given that they still have a lot of talent deficiencies in many areas, but the rookie quarterback has clearly shown that he has a lot of talent, and that he was the clear and obvious choice as the first-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
In fact, he just broke one NFL rookie record by becoming the first rookie to ever throw for 300-plus yards in three consecutive games. As a whole, this accomplishment is not exactly scarce anymore, but it is still a notable achievement, and even more so when it comes within the first quarter of a player’s first season.
Burrow actually threw for exactly 300 yards against the Jaguars, completing 25 of 36 passes, with one touchdown and one interception. The previous week, he completed 31 of 44 pass attempts for 312 yards with two touchdowns. He threw for 316 yards, going 37-for-61, against the Browns, with three touchdown passes.
In all, over the span of the past three games, the Bengals’ rookie has completed 93 of 141 pass attempts for 928 yards, with six touchdowns to one interception. For base comparison’s sake, Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 777 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first three games.
Of concern is, of course, the offensive line. Burrow has taken 15 sacks for a league-high 107 yards so far this year. Only Deshaun Watson has taken more sacks so far this season with 16. Dwayne Haskins and Carson Wentz are the only other two players to lose 100 yards or more on sacks so far.
Needless to say, Burrow is still growing into the offense, and the offense is growing around him. A.J. Green is still finding his form after missing basically a year and half due to injury. Tee Higgins is a rookie as well. They’ve already lost C.J. Uzomah for the season.
But what they are seeing from him through four games should make them feel very good about what the future holds in Cincinnati, at least under center. Whether or not they can build a quality team around him remains to be seen.