There were always going to be some talking points to come out of Week 1, but a number of people will be discussing the performance of Joe Burrow in the season opener. What happened to him? We don’t want to encourage a pile-on, of course, but the fact that Burrow looked far from himself could be a worry for Bengals fans.
The start of the NFL season is exciting for people attending games, or waiting to see if the Free NFL Picks they have followed might come off and win them some money. From gambling to attending the games or watching the highlights on ESPN, the whole day is a bit of a ceremony. For Joe Burrow, it might be one to forget.
He could be just a little rusty around the edges after the offseason, right? Maybe he spent too much time on the golf course?
When Burrow started the game poorly, a lot of people just thought he was a little bit shaky after having some time off. However, the rust didn’t disappear as the game went on.
Burrow made some poor decisions and was inaccurate for pretty much the whole game. Burrow’s team won the game but it is still enough for fans to be pretty concerned about the Bengals and the season ahead.
Joe Burrow has a huge weight of expectation on him. Being a first-round overall draft pick is always a bit of a concern, as it can weigh heavily on a player.
Early in the game, the problems were clear to see. Burrow made a bad decision and waited too long to release the ball. With Steelers in Cover 2, SR Tyler Boyd ran a corner route, and Fitzpatrick barely moved from the position at the snap. He was waiting for him to throw in the hole, and Boyd ran straight for him.
The defender being positioned in this way means Burrow should have garnered the information that the safety jumping this route was coming, but Burrow released the ball late and didn’t see it. Fitzpatrick made a simple pick.
He didn’t spot Fitzpatrick lurking and the opportunity this gave to deliver the throw earlier. Maybe that’s asking a lot, but this guy is going to have to deal with a lot of expectations.
Things didn’t get much easier for him, either.
A little later, an easy pitch and catch opportunity was thwarted by Cameron Sutton, whose leverage let him get a peek of Burrow preparing to take a throw. Again, he wasn’t fast enough, and Sutton had a path to the ball.
In general, Burrow’s performance was found to be lacking. In fact, he was sacked a total of seven times in the match.
His final sack was once again due to a late throw. Burrow isn’t really a rocket-arm, so he needs to rely on anticipating and creating the plays this way, and this is one of the reasons why he has been a first-round pick and one of the key figures in football in recent years. So, what went wrong?
In this sack, with his team fourth-and-6, Burrow tried to find Boyd again on an 8-yard stop route. Corner Arthur Maulet saw the move first and followed Boyd. He wasn’t quick enough, and the performance we’re used to seeing from Joe Burrow just wasn’t there.
What next for Burrow?
We aren’t going to join in with what some of the game’s personnel are saying and pretend this is a sign of a decline for Burrow. He’s a young QB and he’s still learning, and this is still one of his first seasons.
Whether the Bengals will go on to have a great season or not remains to be seen, but it is definitely the case that Burrow will just be looking to put this behind him and move on. Worries about this following him around for the whole season are premature. Burrow had an awful game – he wouldn’t be the first QB to do so, and he won’t be the last, either. There’s no real need to worry about this just yet.
Burrow is one of the bright young talents in the game and if the summarizers of the game start to criticize too much after one poor performance, this could have an impact on his career. As it stands, we’re backing Burrow to come back fighting, and this could even be his best season so far, as soon as he starts firing.