NFL Writer Says Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow Is One of the Best Quarterbacks in the League

Cincinnati already knew this, of course, but we'll still take it.

click to enlarge Everybody loves Joe Burrow now. - PHOTO: TWITTER.COM/BENGALS
Photo: twitter.com/bengals
Everybody loves Joe Burrow now.

Well, the NFL is confirming what Cincinnati already knew: Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had one hell of a season.

In NFL writer Gregg Rosenthal's final installment of his quarterback index, which ranks all quarterbacks in the league based on their 2021-2022 regular season and playoffs, Burrow — who just completed his second year for Cincinnati — is ranked No. 6.

That position on Rosenthal's list puts Burrow ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes (No. 7) and the Las Vegas Raiders' Derek Carr (No. 10) — both of whom Burrow and the Bengals vanquished during the playoffs of the team's historic Super Bowl run.

Rosenthal writes:
Burrow's wild ride is another reminder of how impossible it is to evaluate quarterbacks. His worst three-game stretch of the season may have been his final three playoff games, yet he was simultaneously the main reason his Bengals kept playing, notching their first two road playoff wins in franchise history. His arm strength and processing both took huge leaps in Year 2. The offensive line made the position nearly unplayable in the postseason, and Burrow needed to be perfect on Super Bowl Sunday. He wasn't, but that doesn't change how far he came this season.

Recently retired Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback (and Burrow stan) Tom Brady tops Rosenthal's list, followed by Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills. See the full list.

Rosenthal's ranking comes after Burrow was named Comeback Player of the Year during the NFL Honors awards show in February (wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase also earned the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year award that night). Burrow famously roared back during the 2021 season after being sidelined in 2020 with a torn ACL. During the regular season, the second-year quarterback threw 366 passes for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns. Burrow set several team records, including the most passing yards in a game, passing yards in a season and passing touchdowns in a season.

On Feb. 13, the Bengals lost 20-23 to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, Cincinnati's first shot at the Vince Lombardi trophy since 1989. After earning a 10-7 regular-season record, winning the AFC North, and pulling out magical win after magical win in the post-season — including the AFC Championship — the Bengals were thwarted by sacks and a lack of consistency.   

But despite the Super Bowl defeat — which came in the final two minutes of the game — this Bengals team let Cincinnati fans dare to dream again after years of constant loss. Fans contributed to the Bengals having the most-watched Super Bowl in the last five years. Leading up to the game, businesses and organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati plastered their buildings with Bengals signs and created special items to celebrate the playoffs. Governments even got in on the act, with Cincinnati City Hall flying a Bengals flag; Dayton, Kentucky, renaming itself as "Deyton"; Cheviot changing its street signs to Bengals names; and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declaring that Super Bowl Sunday would be called Cincinnati Bengals Day.

Shortly after the Super Bowl, the Bengals extended head coach Zac Taylor's contract through 2026, and bookies gave the Bengals higher odds for next season.

The Bengals have announced the team's opponents for the 2022-2023 season. The full calendar is expected in May.

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