The Cincinnati Bengals turned the fortunes of their franchise around when they selected quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. His rookie season was a difficult one as the Bengals went 2-7-1 and he tore his ACL, but he has come back better than ever.
Burrow came back in 2021 for Week 1 and didn’t look like a player who had spent the offseason rehabbing from an ACL injury. Despite the Bengals failing to put a competent offensive line in front of him, the LSU star still produced some big numbers.
Burrow was sacked a league-high 51 times in 2021 but that didn’t stop him from completing a league-best 70.4 percent of his pass attempts. He threw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions.
The Bengals went 10-6 in the games Burrow started, as he sat out the regular season finale as a playoff spot was already clinched. After that, he led them on a run to the Super Bowl despite being sacked another 19 times in four games.
This season, the offensive line performance has barely improved. Burrow has still been sacked 33 times in 11 games but that isn’t keeping him from producing. He is averaging nearly the same amount of yards per game as he is putting up 287.3 yards this season compared to 288.2 last season.
In total, Burrow has 3,160 yards and 23 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions as he has improved his interception percentage in 2022. His performance has been at a very high level since the start of last season, which is why he sits atop the NFL in passer rating in that time.
Out of all of the players with at least 500 pass attempts since the start of the 2021 season, Burrow has the best passer rating with a 105.4. Rounding out the top five are Aaron Rodgers (103.8), Dak Prescott (102.1), Patrick Mahomes (101.2) and Tua Tagovailoa (100.9).
Given how much the offensive line has struggled in Burrow’s time with the Bengals, it is very impressive that he has produced at the level that he has. But, when you are surrounded by the kind of weapons that Burrow is, with Joe Mixon leading the backfield and Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd as a three-headed monster at wide receiver, the pieces are in place to put up gaudy numbers.