Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has quietly caught fire after the sluggish start.
And he’s doing much of it without Ja’Marr Chase.
Burrow and the Bengals have won six of eighta after the 0-2 start and four of their last five, which has put them in a playoff spot and just one game off the AFC North lead.
Chase, due to a hip injury he’s almost past, hasn’t been on the field since the win over Atlanta. And over the three games without Chase, Burrow has thrown for 793 yards, seven touchdowns and three picks on a 70.5 completion percentage and 103.1 rating.
Any whispers of Burrow needing Chase to excel are now dead on arrival. It was a silly idea to begin with, but there it is.
Keep in mind at least one of Burrow’s picks was simply a superhuman play by T.J. Watt. During that win over the Steelers, Burrow helped six different targets tally 20 or more receiving yards.
There’s also this to consider, via Andrew Russell:
Two important notes about Burrow’s play:
This slow start wasn’t unexpected. He had the burst appendix, multiple days in the hospital and scrambled to put weight back on his frame right before the season. That, while his new offensive line tried to build chemistry on the fly.
This is maybe the only way the Bengals were going to be able to compensate for the loss of Chidobe Awuzie. The defense is going to struggle more than last year while missing a No. 1 corner. Burrow catching fire like this is a good sign.
And while all of this is great, keep in mind Chase should be back by Week 12 against the Titans, if not the week after, making it safe to expect Burrow keeps rolling like this.