Yes, you read that title correctly.
The Cincinnati Bengals were 4-4 entering this game, and they were destroyed by the Browns in their last outing. Joe Burrow didn’t play well. That had some people spewing absolutely wild takes, one of which claimed that PJ Walker may outplay Burrow.
“I got PJ Walker outplaying Joe Burrow. Obviously it’s been a struggle without Ja’Marr Chase, and it seems like the Panthers have a really talented defense that has a new reason to play. PJ Walker also has been playing pretty well lately and is going up against a Bengals defense that has four cornerbacks on the injury report. Only one of them, Eli Apple, practiced yesterday. So I got P.J. Walker outplaying Joe Burrow,” Domonique Foxworth said on ESPN’s Get Up.
Adding in the defensive weaknesses of Cincinnati and the supposed strengths of the Panthers' defense, and it makes some sense. Nonetheless, some must have forgotten that Burrow led a team to the Super Bowl last season.
He was always going to eventually bounce back. Walker ended up being benched in this game for Baker Mayfield, who has typically played well against the Bengals. Burrow was also benched, but it was due to the Bengals' massive third-quarter lead.
Walker was 3-for-10 as a passer and had just 9 yards and 2 interceptions. Burrow ended with a touchdown and 206 yards on 22 completions. It wasn’t a masterclass performance, but Burrow allowed others to shine bright. Sometimes that’s more what the team needs.