Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals showed great resolve against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon. After trailing by as many as 17 points and looking dead in the water, Cincinnati put together a nice drive ahead of halftime to kick a field goal and get momentum going on their side. Coming out of the locker room in the second half, the Bengals looked like a totally different team.
The Buccaneers had a ton of miscues, turning the ball over on five consecutive drives. They had a botched fourth down attempt deep in their own end to start the second half and then Tom Brady turned the ball over on four consecutive drives, giving the Bengals a short field to work with and they capitalized.
Cincinnati pushed their record to 10-4 on the season, winning their sixth consecutive game and taking sole possession of first place in the AFC North. After struggling to move the ball consistently in the first half, they got the job done in the second half courtesy of the gifts they were given by Brady and the Buccaneers.
Joe Burrow didn’t have his most prolific passing game, completing 27-of-39 for 200 yards, but he made it count in the scoring department. Burrow threw four touchdowns in the game as Cincinnati went 5-for-5 in the red zone when it came to scoring, kicking one field goal and punching in four touchdowns.
Their success in the red zone has been one of their biggest areas of improvement in 2022 compared to 2021. They have scored a touchdown on 68 percent of their red zone opportunities, which is fourth in the NFL behind the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions.
A big part of the turnaround is the performance of Burrow. He has been outstanding in the red zone this season as pointed out by PFF. This season, the 2020 No. 1 overall pick is the highest-graded red zone passer with 21 passing touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 112.2 passer rating.
That is what makes this offense so dangerous. There are plenty of teams that can move the ball up and down the field, gaining chunk yards, but when the field condenses in the red zone they struggle to find success.
That is not an issue for the Bengals, who have Burrow playing great football and a strong running game to balance things out led by Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine.