What does a successful season for Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow look like?
In the words of former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, “Just win, baby.”
“Make the playoffs. Win the division,” Burrow said in a recent interview with ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
Nothing about individual stats or goals.
Just win, baby.
Not to say that the individual stats aren’t important. Before his injury last year, Burrow had completed 264 of 404 passes (65.3 percent) for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns and only five interceptions through 10 games. He was on pace to set single-season team records in passing yards, completions and attempts.
The expectations are all over the map for this season. Sports Illustrated expects Burrow to complete 68% of his passes, which would be the second-highest single season mark ever for a Bengals’ quarterback, behind only Kenny Anderson’s magical season of 1982, en route to 4,645 yards passing and 31 touchdowns. The Bengals mark for touchdowns in a season is 33, set by Andy Dalton in 2013.
CBS.com even thinks Burrow has a chance to lead the NFL in passing yards this season. Before the injury, Burrow was on pace for 4,304 yards, which would have ranked him sixth in the NFL at season’s end.
Then there is the other end of the spectrum.
NFL.com, in its initial quarterback rankings for 2021, ranks Burrow at No. 26, ahead of only Jared Goff, Teddy Bridgewater, Jalen Hurts, Andy Dalton, Tyrod Taylor and Sam Darnold.
And then there is Burrow himself.
“I expect to be better,” Burrow told reporters recently. “I put in a lot of work this offseason that I’m excited to show off — as well as all of our guys have. We’re a much better football team that has prepared the way we need to and understands how to win games now, I think. So I’m excited to put that on tape.”
If everything goes according to plan, that should all translate to one thing - Just win, baby.