Pro Football Focus’ recent projections have the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow putting together a better season than Browns signal-caller Baker Mayfield.
It’s no secret that Joe Burrow has high expectations surrounding his rookie campaign with the Cincinnati Bengals. Just how high you ask? Well, Pro Football Focus projects him to have a better season than Baker Mayfield.
This is significant, considering Mayfield himself was the number one overall pick in just the 2018 draft. Not to mention, he’s now entering his third year in the league and wields a supporting cast of Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and Austin Hooper.
Although surprising, the prediction is not out of reach. Burrow himself just put together the greatest single season for a college quarterback and Cincinnati possesses their own array of dangerous weapons. A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, John Ross, Auden Tate, and Tee Higgins all offer unique skillsets while simultaneously providing an impressive blend of youth and experience.
When all is said and done, PFF’s projection has Burrow throwing for 3,734 yards and 23 touchdowns, compared to Mayfield’s 3,681 yards and 20 touchdowns. So the gap isn’t significant, but it still exists, nonetheless.
What could Joe Burrow over Baker Mayfield mean?
If Joe Burrow is capable of outdueling Mayfield in his rookie season, it will likely signal the Bengals exit from the cellar of the AFC North and plant their in-state rivals in fourth place instead. Cincinnati will still have to find a way to topple Lamar Jackson and the Ravens as well as the Steelers and their impressive defense, but it’s a start.
It will also lay a solid foundation for Burrow’s career and the Bengals moving forward. It would be no small accomplishment to outperform a third-year quarterback right off the bat.
Of course, these are just projections and the LSU product will have to make it happen where it counts, in between the lines. Still, predictions like these from highly respected networks such as Pro Football Focus have got to increase the optimism surrounding the future even more for the orange and black faithful.