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Zac Taylor evaluates Joe Burrow through 8 games

Halfway through the year, Zac Taylor lays out his expectations for Burrow in the second half.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Joe Burrow’s rookie year is halfway done, so Zac Taylor has a good idea of what he brings to the team.

Bengals’ writer Geoff Hobson asked Taylor what his expectations are for the next eight games of the season.

“Keep leading this team to wins. That’s it,” said Taylor.

“In the fourth quarter it’s been unfortunate because he took us down the field a few times and we had chances to win the game,” Taylor continued. “He did it against the Chargers on the last drive. He did it against the Browns, really, in both games. It’s just making sure you’re making good decisions and eliminating the turnovers. He’s had some pretty fluky ones this year, but just keep leading. Keep being more a leader for us, which he’s done and has no reservations.”

Through eight games, Burrow has completed 221/330 passes (67%) for 2,272 yards and 11 touchdowns vs. five picks. He’s also ran 130 yards and three more scores on 35 carries.

Overall, Taylor has been impressed with Burrow.

“We’re kind of poking holes in what he can do better. He’s done a pretty dang good job through eight weeks.”

In fact, there are even areas when Burrow plays better than Taylor thought he would.

“I have a heart attack every time he takes off running with the ball, but he makes me look good every time he does. There’s just that balance you have to continue to find. You have to understand the flow of the game on both sides of the ball. He has to know, hey, our defense needs to protect the ball. They’re playing really good. We have to protect the ball. Throw it away. Or, I need to be a playmaker right now. We need an explosive play and I’m going to hold on to this thing a little longer to get that explosive play for the team. That’s a lot of being a quarterback, not just managing the offense, but kind of understanding the flow of the game as the game progresses.”

Burrow does have eight turnovers this season. Between five interceptions and three lost fumbles, he will need to cut down on the turnovers. While protecting the football might be more of an issue, the way he handles the offense is not up for dispute.

“I think he does have a pretty good sense for that and I think he understands that every defense is different,” said Taylor. “Some guys, if you extend plays, they will hunt you down and make you pay for it. And some other teams you’re able to create a little more time.”