Joe Burrow is a winner. The proof is in the numbers. Drafted number 1 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2019, Burrow is one of only a few number one overall picks in recent memory to truly make the choice a great one.
Having led the LSU Tigers to an undefeated season and a National Championship while providing arguably the best season ever by a quarterback in NCAA history. And Burrow hasn’t missed a beat since joining the Bengals.
That 2019 season with LSU was one for the record books. The Heisman trophy winner in 2019 was unstoppable. He set NCAA records for touchdown passes (60) and total touchdowns (65). Burrow also became the only QB in SEC history to throw for more than 5,000 yards and 50 TDs in a single season. And it didn’t stop there.
Injury Shortens Rookie Year
Although cut short by a torn ACL and MCL in week 9 of his rookie season, Burrow was on pace to be the NFLs rookie of the year. He then went down with what could have been a career ending injury to his left knee. He had thrown for close to 2,700 yards, 13 TDs and only 5 interceptions in his first 9 games in the NFL.
The Bengals, 2-14 the previous year, were 2-5-1 in the 8 games prior to the injury. But those numbers can be deceiving. They lost the first 2 games by a combined total of 8 pts (Chargers 16-13, Cleveland 35-30). And 2 of the 3 other losses were by a combined 7 pts (Colts 31-27 and Cleveland again 37-34). The only lopsided loss came at the hands of the Ravens 27-3. All in all not a bad start before the injury.
Impressive 2nd year
2021 would be more indicative of the Burrow we now know. After going 10-7 in the regular season, the Bengals beat the Raiders at home 26-19 in the wildcard round. Cincinnati then won back to back games one the road, beating the Tennessee Titans 19-16. After that they went into Kansa City and beat the defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime, earning the Bengals their first trip to the Super Bowl in 33 years. They would lose to the Rams 23-20.
After never happening in NFL history, the Rams had the fortunate scenario to be the second straight team to host the Super Bowl, just like Brady and the Bucs did in 2020 when they beat the Chiefs 31-9. After 2 playoff wins this year, defeating the Ravens in the wildcard round and at Buffalo in last week’s divisional round, Burrow now has compiled a gaudy 5-1 career playoff record, the only loss being that “road” loss to the Rams in the Super Bowl.
Move Over Mahomes
Prior to “Joe Cool’s” arrival into the league, Patrick Mahomes was already being referred to as the next potential GOAT. Having led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game every year from 2018 – 2022, Mahomes tied Kenny Stabler for the most consecutive appearances in conference championship games with five. Make it six as Mahomes will be Burrows’ opponent this week when the Bengals travel to KC and try to earn their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
Tom Brady has the current record of consecutive championship game appearances with an unbelievable eight straight from 2012 to 2019 with the Patriots. In 2020, Brady then led Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl win over the Chiefs.
Looking at the matchups between Mahomes and Burrow, it has been Burrow who has dominated with a career record of 3-0 vs the Chiefs and Mahomes.
He’s thrown for a better completion percentage, more touchdowns, more yards and less interceptions in their previous 3 contests. If he goes into Kansas City for a second straight year and gets the win, he will be 4-0 vs Mahomes and the Chiefs. The conversation about who the next possible GOAT may be, will have to be re-evaluated.
Rooting for Joe
I know I will be pulling for Joe Cool and the Bengals to win this weekend. And again in two weeks when he’ll likely face an excellent Philadelphia Eagles team. The Eagles host the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s NFC Championship game at 3:00. Following that will be the Bengals at KC in a primetime showdown that should be an incredible watch. To quote former niner and eagle WR Terrell Owens,
“Getcha popcorn ready”.
“Getcha popcorn ready”.
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