Start ‘Em – Joe Burrow
Well, that certainly feels good to say. After listing Burrow as a “sit” last week, it is time to unleash the franchise on the Bears.
Burrow looked poised, decisive, and mostly accurate against the Vikings despite taking five sacks on the day. Now you might question why it would be a good idea to have Burrow drop back more than 25 times against the Bears if he went down five times against Minnesota.
For starters, the Viking defense is far superior to Chicago’s. The Rams’ Matt Stafford, a fine quarterback in his own right but certainly no more talented than Burrow, strafed the Bear defense for over 300 yards and three touchdowns Sunday night. Does anyone think the Ram skill players are better than the Bengals? I say no.
Secondly, at least three of the sacks were from blown protection, or Burrow simply holding the ball too long. Those issues are correctable, and I expect they will be. Burrow is not the type of quarterback that you will see make the same mistake more than once.
Thirdly, Joe Mixon simply cannot be expected to have 30+ touches a game. This is a 17 game season and with no proven back to spell Mixon, he must be paced or risk injury, which would devastate this offense. Considering these factors I expect more of an air show Sunday.
Prediction: 25-of-37, 306 yards, 3 TD