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Thread: ‘He’s just Joey Franchise’: Inside Joe Burrow’s game-winning pass and what it signifi

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    ‘He’s just Joey Franchise’: Inside Joe Burrow’s game-winning pass and what it signifi

    ‘He’s just Joey Franchise’: Inside Joe Burrow’s game-winning pass and what it signifies for the Bengals

    For the first time in Thursday night’s defining moments, the mistake occurred that put a previously surgical, if hectic, final Bengals drive in jeopardy.

    A holding call on Quinton Spain and short completion to Tyler Boyd put the Bengals at second-and-13 near midfield.
    Standing in shotgun in empty formation, Joe Burrow looked up to see the Jacksonville defense crowding the line of scrimmage showing blitz. The play clock rolled down, the game clock neared one minute remaining.
    Pause for a moment and consider the enormity of this situation.
    The Bengals as an organization needed this night.
    Here they were, given their opportunity to reconnect with their fans. The weather was perfect. The Ring of Honor was unveiled. The largest crowd in five years filled Paul Brown Stadium. The energy and optimism were at highs not seen in ages coming off Sunday’s win in Pittsburgh. Losing to the Jaguarswould give back all of it. The national television audience was watching, waiting to tweet about the same old Bengals.

    C.J. Uzomah was watching the man he calls “Joey Franchise” prove to be the reason they weren’t. What Burrow did next represents the latest chapter in an NFL legend that’s breathing a new brand into an afterthought franchise.
    Burrow called a jailbreak screen to his tight end against the cover-zero blitz. How this ended up being the play of the game told all you need to know about the budding greatness of Burrow.
    “You guys have heard me talking about having the playbook in the back of my head and seeing looks that I can take advantage of,” Burrow said. “That just comes with experience. They gave me a ‘zero’ look, and so all week I knew the defensive coordinator had a Baltimore background. They showed some ‘zero’ on film — I knew I’d have to be ready for it in a big spot.”
    He was ready for it and dialed up a check in this pressure-packed moment the team had not repped since training camp. He did it even though Uzomah stood in the spot normally reserved for the fastest receiver on the team.
    “I’ll be honest, I had to double-take that one,” Uzomah said, who was standing next to Tyler Boyd and Trenton Irwinnear the far sideline. “That one was something I was like, ‘Hold up, what did you just call?’ TB was looking at me, too, like, ‘What did he just call?'”
    He called the game-winning play. Uzomah cut inside, got a block from Boyd and Irwin then ran up the seam for 25 yards. Two plays later, Evan McPherson buried the game-winning field goal for the second time in four games. Day saved. Bengals are now 3-1 and thrust further into relevancy.

    “Joey Franchise is just back there dealing dots out there knowing and understanding what the defense is doing,” Uzomah said. “He called that play up and just made something happen. He gave me a wink after I caught it and I was like, ‘This guy here, he’s reckless.’ He’s the smartest person out there at all times.”
    The book on Burrow is his photographic memory and football bravado make for a cerebral weapon that will only be more dangerous the more plays are shoved into his mental Rolodex. After all, the last time the Bengals played in this stadium it was Burrow audibling on fourth-and-an-inch to a deep ball to Uzomah that sealed the win against Minnesota in overtime.
    The scary element the rest of the league was watching Thursday night was shown off with the game on the line. He’s building up his arsenal. A year after being dismantled by zero blitzes and the Baltimore-style pressures, this time he was armed with the answers.
    “We were going to run it, but it was just that C.J. was out wide,” Burrow said, “and I was trying to figure out if I wanted to get to the boundary or to the field. I had C.J. out there — that’s not exactly the personnel we usually throw those jailbreak screens to — but he really took advantage of the opportunity. I had those plays in the back of my head expecting ‘zero,’ and I just got to it and didn’t really think about it.”
    After three weeks of leaning on Joe Mixon as the team got a feel for Burrow’s repaired knee, the line and offense as a whole, they morphed into a clearer version of what they hope to be Thursday night: Burrow’s Bengals. Partially by situation from an embarrassing, potentially dangerous egg laid in the first half and partially because as a team they were ready for this. So was Joey Franchise.
    Burrow ended up 25 of 32 for 348 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. The 78 percent completion rate was a career-high along with 10.8 yards per attempt.
    “He gets better and better as pressure comes on,” said Boyd, who finished with nine receptions for 118 yards. “As games go later and later he gets even better and better. We feed off that and we feel it.”
    Trailing 14-0 at halftime, the feeling was one of dread. Bengals fans had seen this show before. There was no worse hope than false hope. The quiet groans and loud boos of the first half were familiar background noise in this stadium in recent years.
    Yet, with Burrow, the attitude and expectation felt different. Because with No. 9 taking the next step in his second season and a believing team following along, a culture of winning is taking on his personality.
    “Calm, cool and collected,” linebacker Logan Wilson said. “That’s what he is.”
    Consequently, so was this team. A franchise 1-30 the last 10 years when trailing by 14 at any point in the game didn’t care. They threw a bomb to Ja’Marr Chase and never stopped from there, scoring three touchdowns and the game-winning field goal on the four second-half possessions. Outdueling the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft in the process.
    Head coach Zac Taylor put it all on Burrow’s arm and brain, relying heavily on the empty formations that put all the emphasis on the quarterback to get the ball out and read the defense. In the empty formation, Burrow was 14 of 16 for 153 yards and a touchdown.
    “Joe is just seeing the field really well right now,” Taylor said. “And you put it in his hands and let him go.”
    On Thursday night, Burrow went. As always, his Bengals team buzzing with confidence and chemistry followed him. The only question now is how far he can take them.

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    Joe Burrow: Clutch

    There’s a lot to write about and to consider with the NFL near the quarter point of the season. (Some 63 of 272 regular-season games have been played, 23 percent of the season, as of this morning.) So much to love about Kyler Murray and Derek Carr and others, and I don’t write about Joe Burrow here because he’s been the best quarterback in the league. I write about him because he is everything the Bengals needed. Cincinnati owner Mike Brown’s decision to not trade the number one pick in 2020 and stay put and pick Burrow will turn out to be great for the franchise for a long, long time.

    A quarterback playing in Cincinnati doesn’t always have it easy. Since the Bengals got lucky in the 1984 draft and Boomer Esiason fell to them with the 38th pick,
    their quarterback draft choices have been a bit star-crossed, aside from Carson Palmer in 2003 and Andy Dalton in 2011. After Esiason, David Klingler (sixth
    overall, 1992) and Akili Smith (third overall, 1999) led to a dry spell at the position. Palmer lasted seven years and Dalton nine, and neither led the Bengals far into
    the playoffs. I don’t know if Burrow will either; Cincinnati is not a place that free agents flock. But there’s so much to like about Burrow after 14 NFL starts, even
    though he’s just 5-8-1 in those starts and he’s already survived one major knee surgery as a Cincinnati rookie.

    One play showed me everything that’s good about Burrow in Cincinnati’s comeback from a 14-0 deficit against Jacksonville on Thursday night. Mike Florio and I
    discussed it Friday morning on his Pro Football Talk TV show on Peacock. Lo and behold, NFL Films had Burrow wired for sound in the game, and Films picked the
    play Florio and dissected Friday to feature on social channels over the weekend.

    You may recall it: Second-and-13 for Cincinnati at the Jags’ 46, with 1:09 left in a 21-21 game. On the play, Jacksonville showed blitz, and the Jags followed

    through. At the snap, Jacksonville defensive coordinator Joe Cullen brought the house—a zero blitz, leaving every Cincinnati receiver single-covered with no deep
    help from safeties. To Burrow’s right, young receiver Trenton Irwin set a legal pick for tight end C.J. Uzomah, who broke free right near the line of scrimmage, with
    Burrow under heavy pressure.

    A millisecond before getting plowed to the turf by Jags defensive end Dawuane Smoot, Burrow spotted Uzomah and delivered a throw to him in the right flat.
    Uzomah nabbed it and steamed 25 yards upfield, setting up the winning field goal as time expired.

    NFL Films caught Burrow getting up, moving toward the huddle before the next play. “Can’t zero me!!” he said to no one.

    On the bench, before the winning kick, Burrow was pumped. “Put it in my hands!” he said. “Put it in my hands. It’s over!”

    They did, and it was over. The Bengals have some protection issues, and they don’t always run it like a playoff contender should. But they’ve got a quarterback.
    Burrow (25 for 32, 348 yards, two TDs, no picks, 132.8 rating Thursday night) is the right man at the right time for a team that exits Week 4 in a three-way tie
    for first place at 3-1 in the AFC North. I said it at the beginning of the year: The Bengals have a Dan Fouts for the future. As long as Burrow stays upright,
    Cincinnati is going to win more games than you’d bet they would.

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    I’d rather have Joe Montana than Dan Fouts.

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    This is awesome. From a PFF perspective…Joe Burrow’s 1st down passing grade (91.7) and passer rating (142.1) are both best in the NFL.

    Out of empty on 1st down:
    72.6 passing grade (8th)
    124.5 rating (5th)

    From under center on 1st down:
    63.2 passing grade (23rd)
    98.6 rating (19th)

    Out of the gun 1RB on 1st down;
    94.6 passing grade (1st)
    133.0 rating (1st)

    Dropbacks on 1st down:

    Shotgun: 35
    Under center: 12

    League average:
    Shotgun: 36.7
    Under center: 19.2

    Top 3 in each:
    Shotgun: Hurts (81), Allen (65), Goff (62)
    Under center: Cousins (42), Brady (33), Jones & Darnold (32).

    Also fwiw, Jalen hurts has an 89.0 passing grade on his 1st down dropbacks out of the gun.

    Give Burrow those snap numbers and see if he can maintain his high level of production.
    Last edited by Bengals1181; 10-07-2021 at 01:53 PM.

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    Raise your hand if you thought Joe Burrow would be the best passer in the league (through five weeks) when facing man-to-man coverage. The Bengals’ quarterback has been lethal in these situations. It also has shown how much he has grown from his rookie season, when he completed only 60.5 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns, two interceptions and 11 sacks against man coverage, resulting in a 92.7 passer rating. That’s almost a whopping 55-point improvement in passer rating.


    Burrow is a great example of the disparity. Burrow’s passer rating when facing zone coverage is only 84.1, with four TDs and five interceptions. Plus, he has been sacked 12 times when facing zone and only twice against man coverage.

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    Guess I should have looked at this thread first before my post about JB. Carry on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by texbengal View Post
    Guess I should have looked at this thread first before my post about JB. Carry on.

    lol. To your point in the other thread, I think they've been conservative with Joe coming off the injury. As the season progresses (and the OL continues to gel), I think they'll continue to open things up.


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