Joe Burrow just continues to get better and on Sunday had the biggest win of his career. Burrow's Cincinnati Bengals went on the road and manhandled the Baltimore Ravens, notching a 41-17 victory to improve to 5-2. Yes, the Cincinnati Bengals are 5-2 and look like a team to be reckoned with in the AFC. Virtually all of that can be traced back to Burrow, who is proving he's as good as any young quarterback in the NFL on a weekly basis.
On Sunday, Burrow completed 23 of 38 passes for 416 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception. He dominated a Ravens defense that took fellow draft classmate Justin Herbert and turned him inside out a week ago. It was the latest example of Burrow's ability to read a defense and execute at an extremely high level. After missing the final six games as a rookie in 2020 after tearing his ACL, it's clear Burrow is living up to the hype that accompanied him before the 2020 NFL Draft.
On the season, the 24-year-old is completing 68.9 percent of his passes for 1,956 yards, with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He's currently tied for second in the NFL in yards per attempt (9.2) and boasts a quarterback rating of 108.9. In fact, his QB rating has only been under 113 twice this season and that came in an overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers (85.5) and in a forgettable loss in Chicago during Week 2 (66.2). Other than that he's been brilliant.
Burrow will obviously be compared most closely to Herbert. The Chargers' quarterback has rightly received a ton of plaudits for his play both as a rookie and this season. He's gotten cover stories and tons of time on sports talk shows. Some have even suggested he's already a top three quarterback in the league. You could argue Burrow has been better this season.
Herbert has completed 65.4 percent of his passes through six games, with 1,771 yards and 14 touchdowns against four interceptions. His passer rating is a solid 98.8 and he's averaging 7.2 yards per attempt. Herbert has been excellent and has garnered near-universal praise for his play. Now it's time for Burrow to get his.
Herbert clearly has the better roster around him, with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler and a vastly improved offensive line this season. But Burrow's collection of playmakers is certainly improving. Rookie Ja'Marr Chase looks like an elite receiver already, and Joe Mixon has been excellent this season. Both guys have weapons, but Herbert's collection certainly gets the nod.
Yes, Burrow has thrown too many interceptions this season, but he's also been sacked 17 times and pressured plenty behind a Bengals offensive line that's still figuring things out. Those mistakes should clean themselves up as he plays more and feels safer behind his blockers.
Both Burrow and Herbert are excellent, and the debate over the best quarterback from the 2020 draft class should be fascinating for the next decade. It's time for Burrow to get the credit other top young signal-callers are getting.