There is no doubt that Joe Burrow has proven himself to be one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL during the Bengals' recent run to the AFC Championship game. His numbers across the board have been incredible over the last four games with 10 passing touchdowns and just one interception. However, in the Bengals game against the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round, Burrow struggled to stay upright. In fact, he was sacked more than any other game of the season after getting taken down nine times behind the line of scrimmage. While this was not a good look for Burrow, he did manage to throw for 348 yards and lead his team to victory.
Kevin Cole over at PFF did some number crunching and came to some interesting conclusions after Burrow’s nine-sack game. Cole broke down Burrow’s dropbacks into three separate categories to represent passing plays, interceptions, and sacks. He used these figures to look at why Burrow trails the other young quarterbacks in the league in total EPA including Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Patrick Mahomes.
If you take away the plays in which the QBs were sacked, Burrow moves from 4th on the list to 2nd behind Mahomes. Ergo, when he isn’t being sacked, Burrow’s EPA is right up there with the best in the NFL. In the regular season, Burrow was sacked 51 times. That ranks him, and the Bengals near the bottom of the league in sacks and
So, why even bring this up? Well, the Chiefs are one of the worst teams in the NFL at getting to opposing quarterbacks. The second-worst team in the NFL to be exact, with a sack percentage of just 4.82. The Chiefs have just 31 sacks on the year and give up the sixth-most passing yards of any team in the league.
While this might not be a game-changing statistic. It does add to the value that I already saw in the Bengals as an underdog in the playoffs in back-to-back weeks. They are on a 6-0 ATS run and match up very well against a suss Kansas City defense. The Chiefs did get some good news today that safety Tyrann Mathieu is out of concussion protocols. But I still think this KC defense is going to have to have an amazing day to come away with a win over the streaking Bengals.
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