Joe Burrow has an important season ahead of him. He’ll enter his second year as an NFL quarterback and will be determined to get the Bengals a few more wins in year No. 2. It won’t be easy though, as Burrow and the Bengals have a tough schedule ahead of them this year.
With this tough schedule comes some highly intriguing quarterback matchups for Burrow who is looking to stake his claim as one of the rising young quarterbacks in the league. There are six quarterback matchups this year that stand out for Burrow because there’s either an interesting storyline there or it’ll pit him against another young signal-caller in the league.
We’ve already seen him go toe-to-toe with the likes of Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and Ben Roethlisberger, so I left those guys off the list. These are quarterbacks that Burrow might not face every year but that we hope to see him square off against because it’ll be fun.
Bengals Must-Watch Quarterback Matchups
No. 6: Joe Burrow vs Trey Lance
In Week 14, the Bengals host the San Francisco 49ers for a late-season showdown at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals could be out of playoff contention by this point but they could also be on the fringe of being in contention, making this game a must-win.
The 49ers moved ahead of the Bengals in the 2021 NFL Draft to pick No. 3 and took North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with that selection. Lance didn’t play many games in college but the 49ers believed in him and think he’s the quarterback of the future for San Francisco despite the team still having Jimmy Garoppolo under contract for two more years per Spotrac.
Garoppolo might still be the Niners’ starter this year but he’ll be on a short leash. We all know the drill in the NFL — As soon as Jimmy G starts to struggle, the calls for Lance to be inserted into the lineup will grow louder and louder until Kyle Shanahan caves and hands the keys of the car over to Lance.
If Lance is the starter by Week 14, the storyline in this game will be the No. 3 overall pick going up against last year’s No. 1 overall pick and they’re two of the youngest quarterbacks in the game right now. The reason it’s sixth on my list, however, is that this won’t be a matchup we see all that often.
Heck, the 49ers wouldn’t typically be on this year’s schedule but the addition of the 17th game is why we have a random Bengals/49ers matchup in 2021. Burrow vs Lance at least makes it more appealing, but if Garoppolo is starting, it’s less intriguing.