When Joe Burrow helped lead the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl LVI, he did so in just his second year (and first full season) as a starter in the NFL and also at the young age of 25 years old. It was an impressive run for Burrow, especially considering he was coming off an injury the year before.
Unfortunately for Burrow and the Bengals, he and his squad lost the big game because the offensive line couldn’t give him time to throw. He was sacked seven times in the loss and even a mediocre offensive line could have led to a different result.
James Palmer of NFL Network provided an interesting stat on Wednesday pertaining to Burrow.
Joe Burrow can make history in the biggest way this season.
While the Bengals aren’t heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl in the 2023 season, they can absolutely get back to the big game and get the right result this time around.
The biggest reason why they lost this year’s title was their offensive line and guess what was their biggest priority in free agency? You guessed it — The offensive line.
The front office went to work on putting together a solid o-line by adding Ted Karras to play center, Alex Cappa to play right guard, and La’el Collins to play right tackle. Jonah Williams and Jackson Carman are the only two from last year’s roster returning to the o-line and while Carman didn’t start much last year, he’ll get every opportunity to this year.
Getting back to Palmer’s tweet — The past six quarterbacks to have lost the Super Bowl while they were 25 or younger and not make it back, in case you were wondering, were Jared Goff, Colin Kaepernick, Drew Bledsoe, Dan Marino, David Woodley, and Vince Ferragamo.
Goff was the most recent to join this trend, having made the Super Bowl in the 2018 season when he was the quarterback of the Rams. Goff was 24 at the time of that Super Bowl appearance and not only has he not been back to the big game but he’s not even with the Rams anymore. They went on to win the championship this past season without him (much to Bengals fans’ chagrin).
Kaepernick helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl during the 2012 season after taking over for an injured Alex Smith and remaining the starter for the rest of the season. Kaepernick was 25 when he appeared in the Super Bowl. He and the Niners made it to the NFC Championship Game the next year but didn’t advance to the Super Bowl.
Bledsoe is a bit of a different entity on this list because while he didn’t technically win a Super Bowl as a starter after appearing in one at the age of 24, he was Tom Brady’s backup when the Patriots beat the Rams in early 2002.
Marino is someone Burrow has already started getting compared to. Marino, as most know, reached the Super Bowl in the second year of his NFL career, and lost to the 49ers. Despite only being 23 years old at the time, he never got back to the Super Bowl in his career. Fans worry that Burrow could follow a similar path, as both guys were talented first-round picks who made it to the championship in year two but lost.
Woodley, another former LSU quarterback, reached the Super Bowl in 1982 at the age of 24 but never even got back to the playoffs again after doing so.
Lastly, Ferragamo made it to the big game when he was 25 but wasn’t able to lead the Rams back during the rest of his career.
Joe Burrow has a great opportunity this year to prove that the 2021 season wasn’t a fluke and that he is the quarterback that’s going to get Cincinnati its first Super Bowl title.
Do you think Burrow breaks the curse this season?
All stats are courtesy of Pro Football Reference