Yes, Joe Burrow was off. Probably more off than he’s ever been.
But, according to ESPN’s Next Gen Stats, the offensive line wasn’t giving him much help.
Per their analytics, Cincinnati’s offensive line had the worst pass block win rate (30%) through yesterday’s late afternoon games.
Bengals had the worst pass block win rate (30%) of any team today through the late afternoon window.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) September 11, 2023
(ESPN / NFL Next Gen Stats)
Meanwhile, Next Gen Stats notes that Myles Garrett was exploding off the ball and getting into Cincinnati’s backfield at an absurd rate (0.58 seconds), on par with the best such time from last year, which Garrett can also claim.
Myles Garrett had a pass rush get off (time to cross LOS) of 0.58 seconds today, per @NextGenStats.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) September 10, 2023
Ties the fastest average time in a game (min. 20 pass rushes) from last year by...Myles Garrett in Week 2.
How much stock you put into such stats is a different story.
For what it’s worth, the more traditional stats say that the Cleveland Browns had just two sacks but ten QB hits.
Regardless of how bad the pass blocking was, Burrow has been dealing with protection issues his entire career. And yet, he never looked as inaccurate as he did on Sunday (in this fan’s eyes, at least).
The superstar QB completed just 14 of his 31 passes. Most shockingly, he was 0/8 when targeting Tee Higgins. Obviously that will change quickly.
On a lighter note, Higgins recently spoke with Pacman Jones about his love for Cincinnati fans, his favorite food, and who he likes to sit with at lunch. Watch below: