The much-anticipated debut of Joe Burrow almost went as planned. While there were a few hurdles the team had to get over, they had the ball with 3:08 left and a chance to win the game.
Burrow took them 69 yards in 14 plays, completing eight passes and having one nullified due to penalty and another bobbled out of bounds by John Ross. That said, Burrow showed composure that isn’t oftentimes seen in a quarterback’s first game at the sport’s highest level.
However, the team, with kicker Randy Bullock missing a chip-shot field goal far right, lost 16-13 in their season opener, a game that’ll sting for weeks to come. Burrow lost his debut, and he wasn’t thrilled about his performance either.
Burrow gave his debut a “D,” ESPN reporter Ben Baby noted. “At the end of the day, I made too many mistakes for us to win the game and we didn’t make enough plays,” Burrow continued with.
He’ll have to get over it quickly though.
The team has one of their only primetime games of the year on Thursday against in-state rival, the Cleveland Browns. Burrow knows sitting on this loss will do no good as the team has a swift turnaround.
“We have no choice,” Burrow said. “We play in four days.”
Burrow ended the game 23-for-36. Giving almost ten targets to A.J. Green, the seven-time Pro Bowler is looking like the rookie’s top option. Burrow also utilized his tight end as C.J. Uzomah hauled in four receptions.
There were really only two moments where Burrow’s lack of experience was clear.
The one which he looked to flick the ball after scrambling outside the pocket, a throw that looked like he just wanted the Chargers’ Melvin Ingram to take the ball. The other was just missing a throw to Green who was wide open downfield.
Take back those two and waive on the late-game penalty on Green, and you turn that “D” to an “A.” The excitement for Burrow is still sky-high in the Queen City.