Joe Burrow hailed as league’s deep passing leader in 2021
By Kristen Wong
Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow has gotten nearly every compliment imaginable after his superb 2021 season. The stats just reinforce what’s already been said about the young phenom.
He’s been compared to Tom Brady. He’s considered a top-five QB in the league. He’s been praised for his mental toughness and clutch genes. Burrow can boast yet another unique skill that makes him an elite quarterback in the modern NFL: his accuracy from deep.
According to NextGenStats, Burrow led the league in 2021 in throwing double-digit touchdowns on deep passes with 11 total. The criteria for a “deep” pass isn’t listed, so it’s unclear as to what constitutes such a pass — it could be anywhere from 20 yards to 50 yards.
In any case, Burrow bested all other quarterbacks, finding favorite target Ja’Marr Chase for seven of his 11 deep touchdown passes.
Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow led NFL in deep touchdown passes in 2021
Through 16 regular season games, Burrow already led the league with the highest pass completion percentage of all QBs (70.4 percent), along with a league-high 8.9 yards gained per passing attempt.
The fact that Burrow also excels at long-range accuracy shouldn’t be surprising, nor should his explosive chemistry with Chase.
The rest of the quarterbacks on that list may cause a few head scratches, though. Seahawks’ Russell Wilson trails Burrow with nine deep TD passes, followed by Vikings’ Kirk Cousins, Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, and Chargers’ Justin Herbert.
Cousins has his own Chase-look-alike with Justin Jefferson, and Herbert has shown his jaw-dropping arm strength in plenty of games, but Taylor Heinicke? The guy who threw 20 touchdowns against 15 interceptions this past season and recorded a 65 percent pass completion rate?
Maybe we blinked and missed all of Heinicke’s alleged deep passing touchdowns last year — we were probably too busy following the Bengals’ magical run to the playoffs, anyway.
After a disappointing Super Bowl loss, Burrow and the Bengals will look to return to the championship in 2022, relying on Joey B’s trusty arm, Chase’s explosive route-running, and a whole lot of luck.