Grading Joe Burrow’s AFC Championship Game performance

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

For the second consecutive week in a row, Joe Burrow listened carefully as the NFL world told him that he would be run off the field. One week prior, Burrow led his orange and black bunch to a hard-fought win over the Tennessee Titans. While it was impressive, facing off against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs was something else entirely.

Despite the naysayers that were consistently in his ear and the screaming fans who filled Arrowhead Stadium, Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals pulled off one of the more improbable and impressive victories of the year. As a result, Burrow is now smoking yet another postgame cigar as the Bengals are now on their way to the Super Bowl.

Just how well did he do? Keep reading to find out our grade for the young superstar.

Joe Burrow deserves all the praise in the world for leading that comeback

All of the signs pointed to a high scoring pace that would force the scorekeeper to stay on his toes all night long.

During a Week 17 matchup between both teams, the Bengals eked out a close three-point win on their home turf against the Chiefs. In the process, Burrow threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns. Mahomes wasn’t too shabby either, throwing for 259 yards and two scores.

With a bit of a sample, it made all the sense in the world that both squads would light up the scoreboard for their AFC Championship Game. But while Mahomes held up his end of the bargain, scoring 21 points in the first half, it seemed as though the Bengals were on their way to getting blown off the field, as they trailed by 18 points at one point.

Regardless of the horrific first half of Burrow and despite fans in Arrowhead envisioning a second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl, Burrow reached deep inside their chest and ripped their heart out.

With the help of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and an underrated defense, the Bengals went on a 21-0 run to take a close three-point lead. To the surprise of no one, Mahomes and company refused to tuck their tails between their legs and hide as they managed to force the game to overtime.

Once they arrived in extras, the defense and special teams unit took over for Cincinnati. Vonn Bell got his hands on a crucial interception, Joe Mixon ran all over Kansas City while screaming and beating his chest in the process. And, of course, Evan McPherson sealed their Super Bowl fate with a 31-yard field goal.

All in all, Burrow was fairly pedestrian. He threw for 250 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Still, while he was clutch when it mattered most, his defense should get the game ball. They held Mahomes and their normally explosive offense to just three points in the second half. The defense gets an A++ but as for Burrow, we’ll give him a B.

Next. Best and worst from Joe Burrow in incredible AFC Championship win. dark