Is Joe Burrow Living Up to His New Contract?

Written by: Miles Jordan

Player Updates

Joe Burrow Looks For His Receivers Down Field

The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner out of Louisiana State University signed a five-year, $275 Million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, coming after a marvelous two previous seasons. Burrow led the Bengals to finish first in the AFC North in the past two seasons, advancing to the Superbowl in the 2021-2022 season and the AFC Conference Championship in the 2022-2023 NFL seasons. While Burrow has had a phenomenal NFL career since he entered the league in 2020, fans have raised questions after he threw for 82 yards in the Bengals' 24-3 loss against the Clevland Browns in their season opener.

Burrow has proven himself professionally, throwing for 4,475+ yards in both seasons after his rookie year when he missed six games after tearing his ACL in Week 11's 20-9 loss against the now-Washington Commanders. Playing with receivers such as Jamar Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd gives Burrow plenty of options to showcase his talent, but when the top three receivers finish with under 50 yards in a game, something must be amiss. Burrow threw for 14/31, completing 45% of his passes against Brown's defense, while only gaining six total first downs and converting 2/15 third downs.

Jamar Chase Turns Down Field With The Ball

While the game's rainy conditions may factor into Burrow's worst professional performance since entering the NFL, it is unacceptable in any conditions to throw for 82 yards. He could not figure out how to get a proper grip on the ball, which led to his first passing performance under 100 yards in his career, over 100 fewer yards than he threw for in the game where he tore his ACL. The only plus side to this Burrow performance was that he did not concede an interception even in these poor throwing conditions, which is hopeful considering he has thrown 26 interceptions in the past two seasons.

What is unfortunate for the Bengals is their defense played their hearts out for the first 3/4ths of the game, limiting the Browns to only 13 points, keeping their struggling offense in the game. The defense also recorded three sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble, keeping the Brown's offense on their toes. However, when the Bengals' offense could not produce any points, they left the responsibility of their kicker Evan McPherson, who went ½, nailing a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter to put the Bengals on the board.

However, not all blame lies on Burrow; the Bengals' running backs did not offer much offensive output. RB1 Joe Mixon rushed for 56 yards on 13 carries but could not find the endzone, much like the rest of his team. In the future, the team's running backs must produce more to keep their team competitive. Regardless of how the running backs played, all the blame will still fall on Burrow for the Bengals' miserable performance on September 10. As a leader, when he wins, he is celebrated, but in a loss, he is criticized, especially in a failure as damaging as what happened at FirstEnergy Stadium. Burrow must shake off his performance and prepare for the Bengals home opener against their AFC opponent, the Baltimore Ravens.