When you think about the M.V.P. award, it means most valuable player. Thinking about the word valuable in the NFL, people mainly think of the quarterback position. All positions are equally important, but the quarterback will always get the most attention when it comes to these types of conversations. Currently, the M.V.P. race seems to be only one person, but in reality, there are many deserving candidates and some who just got on the radar after Week 13. There is a red-hot quarterback in Cincinnati who has been a huge part in the Cincinnati Bengals’ four game win streak, and played a huge role in the win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
No Chase? No Problem
Joe Burrow has played a key role for the Bengals ever since his rookie season, and he continues to show why he was the right pick. Now he is making a statement of why he should be considered the league M.V.P. He caught the attention of the nation in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs where he threw two touchdowns, rushed for one touchdown, threw for 286 yards, had an 80.7% completion percentage, a passer rating of 126.6, and a quarterback rating of 71.1. Burrow has shown that even with the slow start, the doubters were still wrong. He showed that he can get through the tough times and even with all the new changes within the roster, he is still able to lead the team to victory. The best part about this time of the season is, history shows this is where Joe Burrow and the Bengals normally peak, they start to get hot, and it’s almost impossible to slow them down. When the news broke that Ja’Marr Chase would be out for a few weeks, the biggest question was, “Can Joe Burrow survive without Ja’Marr Chase?”
Burrow answered that question, and it shouldn’t come as a shock either. Without Chase, Burrow was able to rack up 1,063 passing yards, eight touchdowns, a 67.8% completion percentage, and a 100.2 passer rating. Through four games without Chase, the Bengals went 3-1, and since the loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week Eight, Burrow has not looked back. Speaking of Cleveland, Burrow will be facing his biggest challenge on Sunday for Week 14. Burrow’s record against Cleveland will always be a chip on his shoulder, but with the stakes being this high, Burrow can really help his M.V.P. campaign by playing lights out against the Browns.
One of the reasons why Joe Burrow has been able to play so well since his slow start is the adjustments made, especially with the offensive line. Burrow’s leadership has really motivated the offensive line to improve throughout the season, and also the play calling when it comes to certain defensive coverages. At the beginning of the season, the Bengals’ offense struggled against teams playing Cover 2. It seemed like all hope was lost for what is known as “The Amigos,” as defenses weren’t pressing as much or playing man-to-man coverage anymore. However, Burrow was able to attack defenses in a way we hardly see anymore, and through his leadership skills, we were able to see a new revamped offense. One of the biggest things that Burrow had said once during an interview was, “I think that’s one of my biggest strengths as a quarterback, you’re kind of relaying a message to your guys, the media, to the fans, about what the locker room thinks week-to-week and you’re doing it in a diplomatic way.” Joe Burrow is a leader on and off the field, which is why he is so successful in leading a team, making him truly valuable.
Joe Burrow has been hot when it comes to the statistical perspective, and even without Ja’Marr Chase for the four weeks, Burrow was able to keep leading the NFL in stats. Since Week Four, Burrow has only had a 0.52% turnover worthy play percentage, which is the lowest in the NFL. Right now, Burrow is tied for second in passing touchdowns with 25, second in passing yards with 3,446, and his stats in the fourth quarter are extraordinary as well. In the fourth quarter, Burrow is one of the best quarterbacks, with a 121.6 rating, a 71.6% completion percentage, and a six-to-one touchdown-interception ratio. Obviously, with the game on the line, Burrow is one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and he proved that in the Chiefs game. According to PFF, Burrow had a pass grade of 77, a run grade of 57.6, and a 86.7% adjusted completion percentage.
When you break down his stats during a point differential, when the Bengals are ahead, Burrow has a nine-to-one touchdown-interception ratio, 113.6 rating, and a 68.4% completion percentage. When the Bengals are behind, Burrow has an 11-to-four touchdown-interception ratio, 100.5 rating, and a 69.0% completion percentage. In the red zone, Burrow leads the Bengals to almost perfection, a 16-0 touchdown-interception ratio, 61.0% completion percentage, and a 110.5 quarterback rating. Not only has Joe Burrow been efficient through the air attack, but being able to use his mobility to attack defenses on a whole new level is something that has made his value go up. Burrow has already passed his season high in rushing yards with 224, and has the same amount of rushing touchdowns for the 2022 season as he has in his total career. His ability to also take care of the football is something that he excels in, and it’s something that quarterbacks will always either be praised or criticized for.
Making The Case
Joe Burrow, like many other quarterbacks, are in the conversation for the M.V.P. for a reason. When you take a look at previous winners, you have to analyze what they accomplished and how they succeeded. Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are both extremely good candidates and are absolutely deserving of the award. However, Joe Burrow is setting a new standard in Cincinnati, and when you look at the year he is having right now, it is extremely similar to the 2021 NFL M.V.P. Aaron Rodgers. Joe Burrow is projected to have 4,882 passing yards, 35 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. In 2021, Aaron Rodgers had 37 touchdowns, four interceptions, and 4,115 passing yards. Rodgers is one, if not, the most accurate passer in the NFL, and Joe Burrow is having a similar season to Rodgers. When you set the bar for M.V.P, Joe Burrow is a candidate and will be in the final voting. Burrow will win the M.V.P. as he’s playing at an elite level against tough opponents this season.