This year’s top overall draft pick found himself on the ground often and looked out of sorts in a 27-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Burrow was 19-of-30 passing for 183 yards, one interception and one lost fumble. Burrow was pressured early and often as they kept the rookie unsettled all afternoon.
Through the first four games of the season, Burrow showed why the Bengals took him with the first overall pick. After Burrow secured his first NFL win last weekend and became the first rookie to throw for 300 or more yards in three straight games, Burrow didn’t look like a 23-year-old who just turned pro.
That wasn’t the case on Sunday. For myriad reasons, the Burrow-led Bengals’ offense couldn’t get anything going. Cincinnati mustered only 205 total yards and didn’t get inside the Ravens’ 30-yard line until the end of the game, avoiding a shutout thanks to a late field goal from Randy Bullock.
“Obviously, I was frustrated we weren’t playing very well,” Burrow said. “But we know how to handle pressure from a defense. We’ve handled it the last three, four weeks. We just didn’t handle it very well today.”
Sunday was a sobering reminder of what it will take for Burrow to succeed in the NFL. And it also shined a light on how far Cincinnati is from being competitive in the AFC North.
Describe the game in two words: Massive beating. The Bengals were battered and Burrow was hit often and sacked seven times.
QB breakdown: Burrow easily had the worst game of his rookie year. He struggled to get kind of rhythm against Baltimore’s aggressive defense and was extremely limited in his passing attack.
In the immediate aftermath, it’s tough to gauge how much of this fell on Burrow. The Bengals’ offensive line looked shaky again after a solid performance on Week 4. The receivers were extremely limited against the Ravens. The unit also lost A.J. Green in the second half when he went out because of a hamstring injury and never returned.
The rookie wasn’t able to string together completions and couldn’t stretch the defense. Burrow attempted only two passes over 20 yards, according to NFL Next Gen. He didn’t complete either one.
Silver lining: The Bengals may have found a gem in rookie linebacker Logan Wilson. Wilson picked up his second interception of the season when he bluffed a blitz, dropped into coverage and picked off Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson. Both of Wilson’s interceptions came when he was in zone coverage. In both cases, he had the quarterback fooled. If Wilson continues to make progress, don’t be shocked if he works his way into the starting lineup by the end of the season.
Eye-popping NextGen Stat: Burrow was ineffective under pressure. According to NFL Next Gen, Burrow was 1-of-6 passing when he was under pressure for 11 yards and an interception. The worst part about that statistic is the differential between the number of pressures and Burrow’s pass attempts. That must change if Burrow is to be effective and healthy by the end of the season.