When the dust settled from Super Bowl LVI, Cincinnati Bengals fans rightfully felt that if their team had given Joe Burrow a slightly better offensive line, he and the rest of the team would have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after a magical season.
With that mindset, the Bengals front office made sure that they added offensive linemen who could make this team better. They wanted to add offensive linemen who could rise to the occasion in those big games and protect Burrow.
So far, we're two games into the 2022 regular season and the new-look offensive line almost looks worse than it did a season ago. Burrow has been sacked 13 times in two games and fans are rightfully pissed about it. They were led to believe that the offensive line would be better and so far, it's been putrid.
With Burrow already getting sacked 13 times through two games, naturally, people are comparing him to Andrew Luck. The No. 1 overall pick in 2012 was sacked a whopping 73 times in his first two seasons and ended up missing half of the 2015 season and all of the 2017 season due to injuries sustained from hits he took.
Football is a violent sport, yes, but Luck's injuries eventually persuaded him to retire from football altogether. He called it a career just weeks before the 2019 season took place and while, by that point, the Colts had fixed the offensive line, it was too little, too late. Luck had made up his mind.
Joe Burrow and Andrew Luck have something unfortunate in common
The Bengals did attempt to give Burrow a better o-line this year and perhaps the unit just needs time to gel. They didn't play together in the preseason so it's only natural that it'd take some time to figure things out, right?
We'll have to see how things go for this unit but after two games, Burrow is on pace to get dropped more than 100 times. This is exactly what led to Luck eventually retiring before he turned 30 and it also led David Carr, another former No. 1 overall pick, to get so beat up that he wasn't the same player he was during his collegiate days. He ended his career as a backup.
I included the tweet above because this should worry Bengals fans. Carr and Luck, who I've previously discussed, were actually sacked fewer times than Burrow was in their first 32 games. While Carr won a Super Bowl in the 2011 season, it was as a backup with the Giants.
It's easy to feel like these 13 sacks are an overreaction through two games but it's the bigger picture here that fans need to worry about. Burrow is already being linked to two players who, despite being No. 1 overall picks, aren't remembered for that. They're remembered for getting so beat up and bruised each week that their careers ended drastically different than what people envisioned.
There are 15 games left this season so let's hope the Bengals' offensive line gets things figured out so that Burrow's name is only synonymous with Luck's for both being former No. 1 overall picks. We don't want Burrow's career to end the same way that Carr's or Luck's did.