We love to overreact in the football media space. Even when we call out overreactions, we find ourselves doing just the same thing in declaring some of them valid. As we at Touchdown Wire did in the wake of Joe Burrow’s debut for the Cincinnati Bengals. Sure, the Bengals lost in the most Bengals way possible, having the game-winning touchdown erased on an offensive penalty, and then seeing kicker Randy Bullock push the tying field goal wide and come up gimpy in the process. Yet none of that should erase what we saw from Burrow. He was calm, poised, accurate and decisive on that game’s final drive, and made a number of throws through the contest that were impressive.
Yes, there were rookie mistakes, such as overthrowing A.J. Green on what should have been a TD, or a head-scratching interception thrown while on the move, but Burrow looks to be the answer.
If he is, this Bengals offense could be better than we expect, sooner than we expect. Green is back healthy, Tyler Boyd is a nice slot piece, and while John Ross has talent it has yet to completely come together for him. Pairing Robinson with Green and Boyd gives the Bengals an almost-ideal 11 personnel package, with Green and Robinson interchangeable in the X and Z roles, and Boyd operating out of the slot. Zac Taylor can scheme receivers open pretty well, and he would have a field day with Robinson in that trio. Furthermore, a 10 personnel package with Ross joining them would also be sure to stress defenses. As we saw last year, Burrow is adept at running plays with just five-man protection schemes, so why not play to that strength and go with more four receiver sets?
And, let’s be honest. Even after one game in the league there is a case to be made that Burrow might be the best QB Robinson has played with to date.