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Chalk Talk: A look back at Joe Burrow vs. the Eagles in Week 3

How did Joe Burrow look in his 3rd career start?

In this video we continue our journey through the 2020 season and each and every one of Joe Burrow’s starts.

Burrow has revitalized this fan base and given us hope. Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL and if you have a great one, you have always got a chance. The Bengals took Burrow with the first-overall pick, hoping that he would be the guy who can lead them to their first Super Bowl victory.

His rookie season was impressive, but like any rookie he went through some growing pains.

In this video we will look at a few plays from Week 3 vs/ the Philadelphia Eagles. We’ll show the positives, but also the areas that Burrow needs to improve in.

Once again Burrow impressed with his ability to escape pressure and create plays.

Here (1:05) he ducks underneath the corner blitz. He scrambles to the right and, keeping his eyes downfield, he eventually finds Auden Tate on the sideline for the first down.

This was a good play, but it could have been better. With the corner blitzing, Tate is open the entire time. Burrow felt the blitz and escaped, but if he had recognized where it was coming from he could have stayed in the pocket and delivered the ball to Tate much sooner.

Pressure was a big issue for the Bengals in this game and Burrow was sacked eight times.

Eight.

Obviously, the offensive line is responsible for protecting the quarterback, but some of the blame falls on Burrow himself.

He took a huge hit on this boot (1:36) because he didn’t play it correctly. When the defender shows on the edge, he needs to gain depth and continue his boot. Cutting back allows him to find Tyler Boyd for the first down, but it also causes him to take a devastating hit.

A few plays later (2:10) Burrow was sacked by Derek Barnett.

The Eagles are showing a six-man-pressure, and Burrow makes the check to bring Sample in as a sixth blocker. The defense ends up dropping two players off, only rushing four, but Sample is still matched up one-on-one with Barnett.

Burrow was expecting pressure, so he should have been prepared to get rid of the ball quickly. Tee Higgins gets open on the top of the screen. Burrow needs to anticipate the blitz and get the ball to his receiver.

Another example (2:40) came on the Bengals’ first drive. On third-and-three, Burrow was sacked by Josh Sweat. Tate came open on the whip route, but again, Burrow was waiting for him to get open instead of anticipating. He’s looking right at Tate, but he doesn’t pull the trigger and he ends up taking the sack.

On this play (3:00) in the fourth quarter, he gets rid of the ball quickly, albeit for only a one-yard-gain. Still, he shows recognition of the blitz and the ability to quickly distribute the ball. Now he needs to do that consistently and for more yards.

Burrow did show some poise on the pocket on plays like this (3:21). Knowing he had man coverage, he waited patiently for Boyd to get across the field and deliver the ball for a 1st Down.

Now let’s talk about Burrow’s ball placement.

In Week 3 he continued to excel on short and medium passes. Just look at this pass (3:40) to Boyd between two defenders.

And this touchdown pass to Higgins (3:58), where Burrow has to account for the sinking linebacker.

Or how about this 17-yard completion to Boyd between three defenders (4:08).

But deep ball placement continued to be an issue.

Higgins could have reeled this ball in (4:15), but Burrow would have made it much easier for him if he would have put the ball in front of him.

Burrow continued to show great promise in Week 3. His athletic ability allows him to make plays outside of structure, but it can also get him in trouble, He needs to understand when to scramble and when to stand and deliver. When he knows pre-snap that pressure is coming, he should have a plan to get rid of the ball quickly. He demonstrates great ball placement in the short-and-medium-range, but this is inconsistent when he goes deep.

This performance wasn’t quite enough to get a victory, but that would change in the very next week. We’ll get to that game next!