5 bold predictions for Bengals’ week 14 matchup vs 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Joe Burrow fights through injury for an efficient day

When Burrow began to show signs of pain in his throwing hand against the Chargers on Sunday, Bengals’ fans around the world held their breath as they waited to hear reports on the severity of his injury.

Burrow is the most important player on the Bengals’ roster, without him, there would be no chance of making a late-season push for the playoffs. Luckily for the team and its fans, Burrow’s injury is not severe enough for him to miss time, though it may limit just how much he can get done in the passing game.

While it remains to be seen just how much Burrow can do with his injured pinky in the passing game, it seems like a safe bet to say that he won’t have quite as much zip on the ball for now. Because of this, the Bengals will probably limit Burrow’s passing work somewhat. For reference, I look at Burrow’s workload from the first three weeks of the season, when he was still easing back into play coming off of an ACL tear.

Through the first three games of the season, Burrow threw just 75 passes, for an average of 25 a game. Despite his limited role, Burrow completed 53 passes for a completion percentage of 70% and seven touchdowns. While he wasn’t being allowed to do much in the passing game, Burrow was still incredibly efficient. In Week 14, Burrow will likely see his role regress back to that type of workload, but it will be incredibly crucial that he maintain that level of efficiency.

Against a physical 49ers team, Burrow will be tested. With Nick Bosa breathing down his throat on defense, he may need to get the ball out fast for shorter gains. While Burrow has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of depth per attempt, he also is known for his accuracy in the short to intermediate areas of the field, so a switch to a short passing game shouldn’t hinder his play too much.

With a limited workload in the passing game, expect Burrow to complete 20 of 25 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. While it’s not a stat line that will catch any eyes, it may be just enough to get the job done if Joe Mixon stays hot.