Maybe he didn’t say much, but he said enough.
One look at Burrow, and his teammates knew that he meant it.
“You can see it in his (Burrow’s) face,” wide receiver Tee Higgins said. “When he’s got that look, you know it’s time.” He doesn’t gotta say much.”
Burrow did most of the talking with his arm in Sunday’s 27-12 victory over the Jets, completing 23 of 36 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, and an overall rating of 114.9.
“Yeah, that’s just what he does,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after the game. “He manages this team as well as anybody possibly could. He did a great job. . . . I thought that he did a really nice job executing our offense, giving us some explosive plays. . . . He was aggressive with his mindset, which I wanted, but also knew when to be patient and just take the underneath throws. . . . I thought he managed the game really well.”
Managing the game also included using his legs on occasion to get out of trouble, and to buy his receivers additional time to get open. Burrow was only sacked two times on Sunday after going down 13 times in the previous two games.
He started the day by engineering a 13-play, 75-yard masterpiece on the opening drive that resulted in Cincinnati’s initial first-half touchdown of the season. After a fumble on the second possession that allowed the Jets to pull within 7-6 late in the first quarter, Burrow responded with a 56-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd to give the Bengals some breathing room.
“Coming out fast. Putting points on the boards,” Burrow said. “You’re not in two-minute the whole game. That puts the offensive linemen in better position. It’s easier to call plays. That was pretty cool.”
New York never got closer than 11 points the rest of the game as Cincinnati picked up its first win of the season and moved within a game of the AFC North Division lead, behind Cleveland and Baltimore.
“The past two weeks, we weren’t being us, making mistakes, jumping off, false starts,” said Higgins, who had five catches for 93 yards. “This week, we locked in.”