Coming off of a year where he tore his ACL, MCL and suffered partial tears to his PCL and meniscus, Joe Burrow is still receiving high praise around the league. PFF, which stands for Pro Football Focus, is a website that focuses on thorough data and analytics covering NFL and NCAA Division-I football in the United States.
Last Friday, PFF’s Fantasy Football Twitter account tweeted a graphic of the new look Bengals offense. Not only do they predict 1st year WR Ja’Marr Chase to top the 1,000 yard mark, but they predict Joe Burrow will set the Bengals franchise record in passing yards for a season.
High Expectations or High Praise?
Earlier I said Burrow was receiving praise from PFF. But it’s worth the debate – is he being given high praise for his 2020 performance before the injury or are expectations just this high for the former number 1 overall pick?
To me, it’s a mix of both.
This prediction has merit, though, considering the 2021 offseason the Bengals were able to put together. The biggest issue for Burrow last season? Plain and simply, the deep ball. Neither he or the WRs got it done on throws down the field. But now – with a revamped offensive line and the addition of Ja’Marr Chase – a recipe for success is in the works. A.J. Green was just a shell of himself in Burrow’s rookie campaign. Chase and his chemistry with Burrow should provide an electric boost in place of him right away. The worst guard tandem in the NFL has been upgraded significantly and Riley Reiff playing right tackle will likely make Burrow’s life worlds easier.
Andy Dalton currently holds the record for most passing yards in a season by a Bengals QB with 4,293 yards. With the amount of passing the Bengals have done under Zac Taylor, the record should be more than attainable. Especially when you factor in the now complete-and-elite receiving core.
All in all, fans should temper expectations just a little bit. While Burrow has all the potential and weapons to set a new franchise record, he’s coming off of a devastating injury. Zac Taylor and Brian Callahan still have a lot to prove as play-callers and the AFC North isn’t exactly full of teams that play horrid defense. And with all of that said, I’d still never bet against number 9.