Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is seeing his ceiling restricted by a nasty offensive line.
Joe Burrow was by no means going to have life nearly as good as he had it at LSU in 2019 in his first yr as an NFL quarterback and, within the ninth sport of his profession because the Cincinnati Bengals beginning quarterback, he acquired a reminder of simply how steep the climb can be as he seeks to guide the struggling franchise to the league’s higher echelons.
The uncooked numbers from this season make for optimistic studying for the primary general choose within the 2020 draft. Burrow has accomplished 65.4 p.c of his passes for two,485 yards, 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, together with his interception share of 1.4 the eighth-best within the league.
Nonetheless, he’s coming off a chastening day in opposition to the vaunted protection of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a 36-10 blowout loss to their undefeated AFC North rivals, Burrow linked on solely 52.5 p.c of his throws for 213 yards and one landing.
Whereas Burrow’s struggles in opposition to a legit Tremendous Bowl contender had been hardly stunning, they did his hopes in an Offensive Rookie of the Yr race seemingly being received by Justin Herbert little good.
Burrow’s season has not had the spectacular highs of Herbert’s 2020 marketing campaign however, because the Bengals put together for a stretch run full of winnable video games, how ought to we consider the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner’s rookie yr up to now?
Right here we take a look at his efficiency in some superior metrics to try to reply that query.
Accuracy on level till Week 10
Burrow struggled mightily in delivering the soccer precisely within the loss to the Steelers. That’s mirrored by his completion share and by his efficiency in completion share above expectation in opposition to Pittsburgh.
In accordance with the NFL’s NextGen Stats, Burrow’s anticipated completion share was 63.6, that means he completed the Week 10 matchup with a completion share above expectation of minus 11.1.
But that isn’t in step with how Burrow has fared in that metric general this season. Certainly, for the yr Burrow’s completion share above expectation is 3.9. Simply 4 quarterbacks within the league have outperformed him on this metric.
For context, Herbert (3.7) is barely a bit bit behind Burrow in completion share above expectation and has the sting by way of effectivity and worth added on a per play foundation.
Herbert extra environment friendly
Whereas Burrow is close to the highest of the league in a complicated metric that provides a powerful indication as to the accuracy of signal-callers, he’s within the backside half of the NFL in Soccer Outsiders metrics that measure quarterback worth.
Burrow ranks twenty sixth in Protection-adjusted Yards Above Substitute (DYAR), which gauges whole quarterback worth. He’s additionally twenty sixth in Protection-adjusted Worth Over Common (DVOA), a metric that assesses worth per play.
By stark distinction, Herbert is tenth in DYAR and seventh in DVOA and their respective performances in Anticipated Factors Added (EPA) per play additionally illustrate the better worth the Chargers rookie has added this season.
EPA per play measures a participant’s influence on the scores of his video games on a per play foundation. Herbert’s benefit on this metric is extra negligible – he’s nineteenth within the NFL with an EPA per play of 0.188 whereas Burrow (0.135) is twenty fourth, in response to information collated by Ben Baldwin of The Athletic – suggesting that the hole between them just isn’t as vast because the Soccer Outsiders metrics point out.
In actual fact, the principle distinction could also be that the previous Oregon star has had the good thing about considerably higher safety than Burrow has skilled in Cincinnati.
Bengals should repair O-Line woes
Although Burrow’s play has been largely encouraging, the identical can’t be mentioned for that of his offensive line.
The Bengals are a lowly twenty seventh in Soccer Outsiders Adjusted Sack Fee, which ranks groups in response to sacks (and intentional grounding penalties) per cross try adjusted for down, distance, and opponent.
Cincinnati has allowed 32 sacks of Burrow, the second-most within the NFL behind Carson Wentz. Herbert has suffered half that quantity in his eight video games for the Chargers, who’re fifteenth in Adjusted Sack Fee.
Burrow might not win Offensive Rookie of the Yr as many had anticipated him to in the beginning of the season. However, whereas his show at Heinz Discipline was disappointing, there may be little within the season-long numbers that factors to it being something greater than a blip in an in any other case robust begin to his professional profession.
One of many extra correct quarterbacks within the NFL in 2020, Burrow is a quarterback whose potential so as to add worth is being restricted by the poor play of the Bengals’ offensive line.
If Cincinnati desires to get essentially the most of a quarterback who has tailored nicely to life on the highest degree, then funding within the trenches within the offseason must be the group’s prime precedence.