Joe Burrow becomes a running-machine in disheartening PFF sim

Burrow rushing for 769 yards would be quite the surprise.
Jan 22, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs with
Jan 22, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs with / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL regular season still months away, there's not a ton to talk about so why not continue to sim the upcoming Cincinnati Bengals season? PFF has a cool feature where you can do just that!

In the previous sim I did, PFF had Cincinnati finishing with a 10-6-1 record, which would be disappointing, to say the least. This team has Super Bowl aspirations so yes, finishing with just 10 wins would be a bummer.

Did things improve in the most recent sim? Let's take a look at what our fourth PFF sim predicted for the Bengals in 2023.

Bengals PFF simulation with run-heavy Joe Burrow

  • Week 1 @ Browns: 27-24 Win
  • Week 2 vs Ravens: 6-11 Loss
  • Week 3 vs Rams: 6-11 Loss
  • Week 4 @ Titans: 21-17 Win
  • Week 5 @ Cardinals: 36-16 Win
  • Week 6 vs Seahawks: 34-14 Win
  • Week 8 @ 49ers: 9-12 Loss
  • Week 9 vs Bills: 6-10 Loss
  • Week 10 vs Texans: 33-13 Win
  • Week 11 @ Ravens: 9-13 Loss
  • Week 12 vs Steelers: 23-13 Win
  • Week 13 @ Jaguars: 22-20 Win
  • Week 14 vs Colts: 37-27 Win
  • Week 15 vs Vikings: 24-13 Win
  • Week 16 @ Steelers: 14-19 Loss
  • Week 17 @ Chiefs: 7-24 Loss
  • Week 18 vs Browns: 38-24 Win

This sim has the Bengals finishing with a 10-7 record and might I say, some of these results are pretty odd. Losing by a score of 11-6 in back-to-back games and only scoring single-digit points in six separate games seems unrealistic for bad teams, let alone an offense like the Bengals.

Joe Burrow finished the year with 4,205 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and seven interceptions and while these numbers were unusual (mostly the lack of passing touchdowns), what really stood out was Burrow's rushing numbers.

The Bengals signal-caller is no stranger to using his legs to extend plays but he's never had more than 400 yards rushing in a single season dating back to his college days yet in this sim, he dashes for a whopping 769 yards and six touchdowns. The six touchdowns aren't unrealistic but 769 yards from Burrow on the ground isn't happening.

With Burrow's passing numbers looking meek, I checked each game's projected stats to see if Burrow missed time but he started every game. He had some really good performances, like in Week 10 vs the Texans when he throws for 396 yards and three touchdowns. There's also Week 14 vs the Colts when he tosses for 357 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.

On the flip side, however, Burrow also has a lot of stinkers. The worst one by far is the Week 16 loss to Pittsburgh where he completes just 9-of-22 pass attempts for 95 yards. He does rush for 46 yards in that game but this would be a miserable performance from Joey B. The Week 1 win over Cleveland isn't much better for Burrow, as he only tosses for 103 yards, one touchdown, and one pick but somehow breaks free for 76 yards on the ground and a rushing score.


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Burrow is a great quarterback and he can make plays with his legs when he needs to but it'd be a pretty big shocker to see him go for 769 yards on the ground. That'd be more shocking than the Cincinnati Bengals going 10-7 and potentially missing out on a playoff berth in the gauntlet that is the AFC.