Heisman rivalry in the division
There have been some absolutely stellar college quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield is one of the very best), but no one has ever put together a season quite like Burrow’s 2019 campaign. After a middling 2018, he improved by leaps and bounds (and that’s a significant understatement) to lead the LSU Tigers to a National Championship, completing 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns, and just six interceptions.
He also added five rushing touchdowns, and did all that in an offense that ran for over 2,500 yards. He was flat-out amazing and displayed all the qualities and abilities that a franchise could want in its first overall pick. The Bengals got a great leader and hard worker with the smarts, arm strength, pocket presence, and ridiculous accuracy to become one of the NFL’s best.
Burrow’s pro debut against the Los Angeles Chargers didn’t go swimmingly, but his team was still a missed field goal away from going to overtime against one of the better squads in the league. Even with Derwin James hurt, the Chargers have a significantly better defense than the Browns. If Burrow is given time to survey the field and make his throws, he will pick Cleveland apart. Tyler Boyd, A.J. Green, Tee Higgins, and John Ross gives Burrow a nice group of targets.
Baker Mayfield was historically accurate coming out of college. Burrow was even better in 2019. He didn’t throw for a touchdown on Sunday, but that accuracy was on display by the rookie. The odds of Burrow throwing his first NFL TD on Thursday are high. They’re very high.