The Cincinnati Bengals went into its matchup with the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday proudly owning the least quantity of yards averaged per recreation in your complete NFL. It’s stunning to see this group, which has been to the AFC Championship Sport the previous two seasons, battle to get going with Joe Burrow on the helm.
Burrow’s non-public quarterback coach, Jordan Palmer, has not been sweating an excessive amount of in comparison with Bengals followers. After all, this isn’t what he anticipated both from the person who simply obtained the richest contract in NFL historical past.
Nevertheless, Palmer has watched the tape of each recreation and has seen what he believed was an offense on the verge of breaking out of its hunch.
“Cincinnati is only a ticking time bomb on offense,” Palmer advised Fox Information Digital two days earlier than the Bengals took on the Cardinals.
Palmer was proper.
Burrow and the Bengals lastly noticed the explosive performs they’re recognized for on the gridiron in a 34-20 win to get to 2-3 on the season. Burrow completed the sport with 317 passing yards with three touchdowns and one interception, whereas his high goal, Ja’Marr Chase, had all three of the landing catches with 192 yards on 15 catches.
As a staff, the Bengals produced 380 yards, which is far more than its 236 per recreation getting into Sunday.
So why had been the Bengals capable of get away on this style? Palmer made a comparability to what the Chicago Bears have been capable of do on the offense the previous two video games.
“What I believe occurred in that recreation for Justin Fields is he hit a few those – he’s simply been a bit off,” Palmer defined. “Whether or not he moved off them in his development too fast, then ‘Oh, they got here open’ whenever you take a look at them on tape. Or he simply overthrew him, or just a bit behind him. … Did Justin Fields get manner higher two weeks in the past in observe? No. They’ve simply been this shut they usually flipped it so now they’ve two video games in a row the place they’re rolling.
“I believe the Bengals – I might not examine them to the Bears. This can be a staff that has been enjoying at a excessive stage for 3 years in a row now. They’re simply barely lacking this, and barely lacking that, and are tremendous shut. What which means is any one among these weeks now we may go 435 yards and 4 touchdowns. It’s nonetheless Ja’Marr Chase, it’s nonetheless Joe Burrow, it’s nonetheless Tee Higgins, it’s nonetheless the identical guys. It’s nonetheless an offensive line that’s struggling to guard, which it’s been for years, too. And it’s nonetheless a protection that creates turnovers, will get off the sphere on third downs, and will get huge sacks.”
It was not the precise stat line Palmer predicted, however he was shut. The protection additionally had an enormous day, which included three turnovers with a pick-six amongst them.
As for Burrow’s particular person performances earlier than his breakout recreation right here, Palmer wouldn’t reveal what he has been seeing on tape that they’ve been discussing, invoking his client-coach privilege.
Nevertheless, he did word that well being has not been on Burrow’s aspect early on, and his calf pressure was hurting a key a part of his recreation.
“He’s probably the most cell quarterbacks within the NFL relating to creating time and area,” mentioned Palmer. “I’m not saying he jukes dude, and hurdles them, and rips off 70-yard runs. Creating time and area within the pocket, at LSU and his first three years within the NFL, he’s been one of many higher guys. A part of it’s athleticism, a part of it’s mechanics, a part of it’s instinctual of spatial consciousness and really feel. Holding two fingers on the ball and stable fundamentals from day one. That’s been a significant a part of his recreation since he got here on the scene his senior yr.
“As he will get more healthy and may try this extra, we’re going to see his play proceed to raise each week.”
Burrow has created a few of these huge performs “shopping for time within the pocket,” as Palmer added. He was seen doing that on Sunday, with a major instance being Chase’s first landing of the sport. The pocket began to break down a bit, however Burrow dropped again, moved to his proper and reset himself, nearly creating one other pocket to increase the time of the play and permit his favourite goal to get open.
As soon as Chase bought freed from protection, Burrow was capable of ship a strike.
Previous to this recreation, Burrow has been releasing the ball very fast and never permitting his offense to develop their routes downfield – a characteristic of Cincinnati’s offense that makes them so deadly. Palmer talked about the offensive line struggling in recent times, and Burrow’s harm leaving him much less cell forces the Bengals to attempt to get the ball out fast to keep away from sacks.
“The extra he’s capable of transfer round, the extra alternatives he’ll must make huge performs on the sphere,” Palmer mentioned.
Nevertheless, even when the Bengals didn’t come away with the victory on Sunday, Palmer was assured Burrow and his offense would proceed to maintain their heads held excessive, realizing the time for them to shine was coming quickly.
“The one factor I can assure you is that nothing’s going to alter about their preparation, their focus and their confidence stage,” Palmer mentioned. “Joe Burrow will not be the kind of man who goes, ‘Nicely, we’re 2-6, subsequent yr will probably be higher.’ They’re going to struggle each single week.”