Lindsay Patterson and Tyler Dragon discuss the upcoming game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With 141 passing attempts though his first three games, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is two attempts behind the NFL leader, Dak Prescott.
The biggest statistical difference between the two quarterbacks is that Prescott also leads the NFL in passes completed and passing yards. Burrow only leads the NFL in sacks and sack yards lost.
Despite how many hits he’s taken, Burrow is ranked 12th (76.1) by PFF in passing through his first three games and nearly led the Bengals to their first win of the season in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Here are five key plays from Burrow in the 23-23 tie.
11:53 left in the first quarter, 3rd-and-3 on the Eagles 47-yard line. Josh Sweat sacks Joe Burrow for seven-yard loss
On Cincinnati’s first series of the game on Sunday, the offense was rolling. Head coach Zac Taylor had several creative set-ups to get the Bengals past the 50-yard-line.
On this series, Taylor used a five-wide set that led to a wide-open pass to Tee Higgins. Taylor called an effective screen pass to Mike Thomas. The Bengals established the run, and Joe Mixon had 18 yards on the drive.
All of that progress was wiped out with one sack.
On 3rd-and-3, the Bengals lined up with three wide receivers and Giovani Bernard in the backfield. Burrow’s first read was to wide receiver Auden Tate, who subbed into the game to make a first down catch on the sidelines.
Tate lined up on the right side of the field and cut inside, but after two steps he turned and sprinted toward the right sideline. Tate was wide open. Burrow wasn’t.
It only took Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat one move to beat Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams, and he sacked Burrow for a seven-yard loss. Burrow didn’t have enough time for the play to develop into an easy first down pass, and Cincinnati missed a scoring opportunity on its first drive of the game.
8:30 left in the first quarter, 1st-and-10 on the Bengals 44 yard-line. Burrow throws an incomplete deep pass to Tyler Boyd.
This was another opportunity where Burrow didn’t have enough time to let the play develop down the field, but the set-up is the most interesting aspect of this play.
Three wide receivers lined up close to the middle of the field, Drew Sample stood next to Bobby Hart at the line of scrimmage and Joe Mixon was in the backfield, Tate went in motion from the left side of the field to the right side right before the snap, but the wide receiver didn’t go out for a pass.
By the time Burrow snapped the ball, Tate had lined up directly behind Sample. Tate was virtually a second tight end on the play, and he stayed behind the line of scrimmage to help block.
Meanwhile, A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd streaked down the middle of the field for a deep pass. Burrow clearly was looking to throw a deep ball to Boyd, and the Bengals kept eight players behind the line of scrimmage to block for Burrow. Tate, Mixon and Sample all chipped in with the blocking, but the Bengals still couldn’t keep Burrow on his feet.
Eagles safety Jalen Mills juked past Tate and hit Burrow as he threw, which forced Burrow’s deep pass attempt to fall short of Boyd.
4 seconds left in the second quarter, 2nd-and-8 on the Bengals 42-yard line. Brandon Graham sacks Joe Burrow for 10-yard loss.
I tried to find the moment that led the offensive guard Fred Johnson being pulled at halftime and was impressed with how he played at the end of the second quarter. On the Bengals’ first touchdown drive of the game, which came in the last three minutes of the half, Johnson won six consecutive blocks and mostly kept a clean pocket for Burrow.
But then on the last play of the half, Johnson got beat.
The Bengals lined up with an empty backfield, but they still had six players to block four incoming Eagles pass rushers. The rest of the Eagles defense was in pass coverage down the field, so Cincinnati hoped the offensive line would be able to buy Burrow time to take one last shot to end the half.
That didn’t happen. Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave lined up right in front of Johnson, and he pushed right through him to get to Burrow. Center Trey Hopkins moved to his right to help left guard Michael Jordan block defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway.
That left Johnson on his own. After he rushed past Johnson, Hargrave forced Burrow to step right into defensive end Brandon Graham, who came away with the sack that ended the half.
5:42 left in the fourth quarter, 2nd-and-11 from the Eagles 19-yard line. Burrow completes an 11-yard pass to Tee Higgins.
On one of the biggest plays of the game, Burrow locked in on rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins had 40 receiving yards and two touchdowns Sunday, and Burrow put more faith in him on this play.
The Bengals were inside the red-zone, and a touchdown would virtually put the game away. On 2nd-and-11, Burrow needed a big pick-up. Higgins was the only receiver he looked at.
Cincinnati lined up with two wide receivers on each side of Burrow and Sample in-line with the offensive line. Higgins lined up on the far left and prepared to run a slant route.
Higgins galloped at the line of scrimmage to fake that he was about to streak toward the end-zone. Then he turned on a dime toward the middle of the field. Burrow found him right away on the slant, and Higgins picked up a first down.
After an unnecessary roughness call after the play, the Bengals advanced to the Eagles 4-yard line. Because of this throw to Higgins, the Bengals were 12 feet away from a game-clinching touchdown.
But Cincinnati couldn’t punch the ball into the end-zone and settled for a field goal. Six minutes later, the game went into overtime.
1:55 left in overtime, 3rd-and-16 from the Bengals 14-yard line. Fletcher Cox sacks Burrow for 7-yard loss.
On third-and-long with fewer than two minutes left in overtime, this was a play the Bengals had to convert. If Cincinnati settled for a punt from inside its own 20-yard line, the Bengals would give the Eagles great field position and the opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal (which Cincinnati did).
The Bengals used a formation they hadn’t shown much this season. Two wide receivers lined up on Burrow’s right, and A.J. Green was by himself on the left side of the field. Sample stood next to Bobby Hart as an in-line blocker, and Bernard lined up directly next to Jonah Williams to fill the same role.
Bernard made a block at the line of scrimmage before releasing for a check-down route. The wide receivers sprinted toward the first-down line, but they didn’t even have enough time to reach the mark.
Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox blew past Cincinnati offensive guard Billy Price, and Cox sacked Burrow to stop the Bengals last chance.