With the number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Joe Burrow out of LSU. The Tigers quarterback led LSU to a National Championship title and set the college football world on fire with 5,671 passing yards, 60 touchdowns (!!!!), and six interceptions through 15 incredible games.
The choice was a no-brainer and Burrow has proven that. He's proven this even after a rookie campaign that was far from perfect.
Through 10 games, Burrow was playing decently for a rookie quarterback, tossing for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five picks while dashing for another 142 yards and three scores on the ground. In Week 11, however, Burrow was injured and went on to miss the rest of his rookie season. The Bengals finished the year with four wins and Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was the one showered with praise and in turn, made people debate if Cincinnati had chosen wrong.
The Bengals did not choose wrong.
Since returning from that injury, Burrow has proven that he was indeed worthy of the number one overall pick, even with the odds stacked against him.
Joe Burrow has quite the comeback story
November 22nd, 2020 was the day that Burrow got injured and went on to miss the final six games of his rookie season. He was able to return in time for the 2021 season opener and led the stripes to a 10-6 record (he did not play in the season finale), an AFC North title, and the Bengals' first playoff win since the early 90s.
That wasn't enough for Burrow though. He went on a tear in the postseason, throwing for 1,105 yards, five touchdowns, and two picks in his first-ever NFL playoffs. He got the Bengals past the Raiders in the Wild Card round, shocked the number one seeded Titans in the Divisional Round, and stunned the two-time reigning AFC champion Chiefs at Arrowhead in the Championship game.
While the Bengals came up short in the Super Bowl, Burrow had no reason to hang his head. He was sacked a whopping seven times in the big game but still came one play shy of knocking off the Rams for the Lombardi Trophy. This was all accomplished in just his second NFL season and his first full year as a starter. Oh, and it also happened while he had an absolute dog crap offensive line in front of him.
Before Burrow and the Bengals played in the Super Bowl, he was rewarded with the Comeback Player of the Year award. This did not come as a shock at all, as look at what Burrow was able to accomplish in a little over a year after his injury! The guy proved he's a franchise quarterback and he was able to showcase that in only the second year of his pro career.
Obviously, Burrow is still young and has a (hopefully) long career ahead of him but it's hard not to look at what he went through in the 2020 season and 2021 offseason and not be even more impressed with the guy. A lot of quarterbacks might struggle after such an event but Burrow didn't bat an eye.
As I mentioned above, November 22nd, 2020 was when Burrow sustained his season-ending injury and just look at how far the LSU alum has come since then. He's won Comeback Player of the Year, got his team a division title, made it to a Super Bowl, and has his 2022 squad poised for another deep run.
Not all quarterbacks are able to bounce back from an injury and Burrow showed that not only could he bounce back but that he could do so in a massive way.
Cincinnati Bengals fans are lucky to have Joe Burrow. Here's to hoping several 2021 runs are left in Joey Franchise.