Tyrann Mathieu has high praise for quarterback Joe Burrow
Tyrann Mathieu prides himself on knowing the tendencies of every opposing quarterback’s style of play. As his Kansas City Chiefs headed into their showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals this past weekend at Arrowhead, Mathieu believed he knew what quarterback Joe Burrow could and couldn’t do.
However, despite being known as a pocket QB, Burrow carefully decided when to gash Mathieu’s defense with his arm, and when to pick up crucial yards with his legs. With Burrow continually moving the chains, the former Heisman Trophy winner ultimately led his ball club to an unexpected come-from-behind victory.
As the curtains on the Chiefs sesason have officially come down, Mathieu reflects on the 18 point comeback victory of the Bengals and credits Burrow’s legs as one of the main contributing factors.
“I think he is a smart quarterback,” said Mathieu following their AFC Championship Game loss. “He is not geared to run around. He is not geared to get 60 or 70 rushing yards a game. I think he is a smart player, a smart quarterback. Within certain schemes and certain coverages, there is a window for the quarterback to run the ball in.”
Joe Burrow was sneaky good as a rusher
While Burrow’s stat line of 25 rushing yards won’t come off as awe-inspiring, as Mathieu eluded to, the second-year signal-caller had several key runs. In the third quarter, in particular, Burrow used his legs to perfection.
In the fourth quarter with the ball on their own 24-yard line and only a few minutes remaining in the game, Burrow was facing a critical third down, needing six yards for a first down. Burrow calmly surveyed the field but quickly realized that the Chiefs secondary had everyone under control. At a moment’s notice, Burrow tucked the ball underneath his arm and rushed for seven yards to keep the drive alive.
A few minutes later, Burrow was in a similar predicament. Cincinnati found themselves needing seven more yards to complete a pivotal third down. Instead of trying to force the ball to one of his well-covered receivers, he scrambled up the middle for 11 yards.
The end result of that drive would be a field goal attempt that gave the Bengals the lead, before they ultimately eked out the win. Considering how dynamic Burrow was in both phases of the game, Mathieu simply shook his head in admiration.
“Hats off to him. Obviously, this kid studies a lot of tape. He has the instincts to go with it as well and he made a couple of third-down scrambles that lifted their team.”
Now, with Mathieu’s year coming to an end, he’ll be forced to wait until next season to knock the Bengals off their high horse for dealing the Chiefs two losses on the year. Unless, of course, the soon-to-be free agent decides that it’s better to join his enemy in the offseason.