We can enjoy Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow and the cool factor that he has brought to the Cincinnati without getting carried away. Burrow is an outstanding NFL quarterback, but in no way is he better than the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
The Bengals were great against the Buffalo Bills last week. They went up to Western New York and salted the snowy Bills into slush. However, as impressive as the Bengals were, that game was won in the trenches. They dominated the Bills on both sides of the line of scrimmage during that 27-10 victory.
Why the QB controversy?
Burrow led two touchdown drives to start the game and was largely quiet for the rest of the afternoon. Yet when it came time to discuss the game on ESPN’s Get Up, Ryan Clark and Dan Orlovsky were ready to declare Burrow the best quarterback in the NFL. How quickly people forget that Mahomes played the entire second half of the Chiefs 27-20 Divisional-Round win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on one leg.
Orlovsky couched his argument by saying that he still believes Mahomes is the best overall player in the NFL. His argument for Burrow being the best quarterback is that he is the most fundamentally sound player in the league at that position. What Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson bring to the game in size, elusiveness, and arm strength, Burrow brings that same level of talent to the basics of quarterbacking. The anticipation, the timing, the accuracy, you know all of the things that Mahomes is great at.
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What dazzles people when they watch Mahomes are the instinctive scrambles and his ability to launch the ball from different angles and still put the ball on target. But the only reason that he can make those style-bending throws is due to the fact his fundamentals are so good.
Mahomes can put the ball wherever he wants to on the field. Never forget, in a Super Bowl he surprised one of his teammates when he threw a perfect pass from a horizontal position. Against the Jaguars he threw a jump pass off of one leg for a touchdown. Again though, the throw was perfect.
Mahomes doesn’t have good fundamentals?
None of these plays are possible without Mahomes having complete control of arguably the most talented right arm in the history of humanity. His ball placement is so good that his feet don’t need to be set, and he can change his release point at a moment’s notice. Also, anticipation and timing, the last two seasons teams have stretched the limits of defensive design to stop the Chiefs’ big plays. The result, he is playing in his fifth-consecutive home AFC Championship Game. That can’t happen without Mahomes being in sync with the plethora of pass catchers that the Chiefs have used this season with Hill and Byron Pringle no longer on the roster.
Burrow is an outstanding quarterback. Truthfully, because of his size not having rocket fuel in his throwing arm, he is actually sold short as an athlete. The man can run. It’s why the Bengals are playing in their second-consecutive championship game, even with all of their offensive line issues.
However, for those who have seen both Mahomes and Burrow play, you were blessed with functioning eyes so use them correctly. Burrow may go down as the greatest professional athlete to ever play in Cincinnati, but Mahomes may be the best football player this country has ever produced.
There are levels to this, even at the top.