As Cincinnati Bengals training camp continues, predictions for the 2022 season are still popping up for any category you can think of.
When it comes to quarterbacks, Joe Burrow found himself atop one list that predicted he will lead the NFL in passing yards this coming season.
Cynthia Frelund of NFL Network recently released her stat leader predictions and has high hopes for Burrow’s third season. Frelund has Burrow throwing for 4,950 yards, just falling shy of the 5,000 yard mark.
This number is primarily driven by the Bengals’ improved offensive line, which I rank as the ninth-best unit (up from 25th at the end of 2021), along with a very difficult schedule that includes a bevy of potential game scripts with high passing volume. According to Next Gen Stats, Burrow was the league’s best quarterback under pressure when it came to yards per attempt (9.7) and completion percentage (64.3), and he owned the second-best completion percentage over expected (+8.7) in this area. That said, the third-year signal-caller shouldn’t face as much heat in 2022, thus exposing him to fewer hits and more higher-probability passing situations. More time to throw equals more yards on deep passes. And on that front, Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase just led the league with 11 touchdown connections on passes of 10-plus air yards — the highest single-season total of the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016).
Seeing what Burrow did last season behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL should inspire plenty of confidence in what he can do with more protection.
If three new starters along the offensive line perform the way they should, 4,950 yards is completely doable. Boasting one of the best wide receiver rooms in the NFL, plus the addition of Hayden Hurst, who has been the talk of training camp, it would be no surprise to see Burrow leading the league in passing yards if he suits up for all 17 games.