Bengals QB Joe Burrow breaks rookie record in 35-30 loss to Browns

NicoleZembrodt

Joe Burrow balled out in his first primetime game on Thursday night. The Bengals lost to the Browns 35-30, but the rookie played well.

He finished 37-of-61 for 316 yards and three touchdowns.

Burrow’s 37 completions is the most in a game by a rookie in NFL history and his 61 pass attempts are the second most all-time by a rookie quarterback.

He was at his best when the Bengals’ offense featured empty formations, according to Next Gen Stats. 

Empty Formation:

  • 14/21, 129 yds, 3 TD
  • +0.72 EPA/DB
  • 1 pressure (4.8% QBP rate)

All Other Formations

  • 23/39, 187 yds
  • -0.13 EPA/DB
  • 20 pressures (47.6% QBP rate)

The offensive line has struggled to give Burrow time to connect with his receivers down the field. He had an average of 2.40 seconds to throw, which was much less than the 3.38 seconds Baker Mayfield had according to Pro Football Focus.

The Bengals have gone deep into their talented wide receiver room with different formations. Burrow targeted nine different receivers on Thursday night.

C.J. Uzomah, Mike Thomas, and Tyler Boyd all caught touchdowns from Burrow.

REC
TAR
YDS

TYLER BOYD

7

8

72

DREW SAMPLE

7

9

42

C.J. UZOMAH

4

6

42

JOE MIXON

4

4

40

TEE HIGGINS

3

6

35

MIKE THOMAS

4

4

31

A.J. GREEN

3

13

29

GIOVANI BERNARD

5

7

22

JOHN ROSS

0

2

A.J. Green’s three receptions on 13 targets raises eyebrows. He had some sure-catch drops throughout the game. Tyler Boyd got back on track after a quiet first game. He led the team with seven receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Burrow targeted Drew Sample and Uzomah 15 times during Thursday’s game. With Uzomah going down with an achilles injury, Sample will be expected to fill the void as a pass catching tight end. 

The Bengals left Cleveland 0-2, but had a solid performance from their rookie quarterback. The future is bright for Burrow, but the team needs to make adjustments to the offensive line to protect their franchise passer.

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