How Bengals’ pass-protection issues for Joe Burrow caught up to them in Super Bowl 56 loss to Rams

Joe Burrow clutched his proper knee after a Von Miller sack with 11:44 remaining in Tremendous Bowl 56, and in that instantaneous the Bengals’ future appeared unsure. 

We’re not speaking in regards to the sport both. Cincinnati was holding on to a four-point lead in opposition to the Rams, a lead the Bengals would quit in heart-breaking trend in a 23-20 loss that resembled Tremendous Bowl 16 and Tremendous Bowl 23 losses to the 49ers. 

Burrow completed the sport, but it surely’s on Cincinnati to make sure that uncertainty doesn’t resurface with an offseason that beefs up Burrow’s safety. 

What else may you say after watching Burrow take a Tremendous Bowl-record seven sacks? That ties the document set by Pittsburgh and the “Metal Curtain” once they harassed Corridor of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach throughout their 21-17 victory in Tremendous Bowl 10. 

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If the Bengals need Burrow to have that very same Corridor of Fame profession, then that subject must be precedence A, B and C this offseason. That pass-protection was a well-documented fail coming into Tremendous Bowl 56. Burrow took 9 sacks within the AFC divisional playoff run in opposition to Tennessee, and the Bengals gained 19-16. 

But, those self same points are why the Bengals couldn’t put the Rams away. Burrow took only one sack within the first half, and the Bengals took a 17-13 lead on the primary play of the second half when Burrow hit Tee Higgins for a 75-yard TD go. 

Then the Rams’ go rush took over. Burrow took two Aaron Donald sacks on the following drive, together with one within the pink zone that compelled a area aim. Burrow was sacked 4 occasions on the following three drives, together with two from Miller. That prevented Cincinnati from constructing on a TD lead that might have put the sport away. 

On the sport’s closing drive, Donald pressured Burrow on fourth-and-1 right into a rushed throw that fell to the turf. Thus begins the narrative, and it comes with a damning conclusion through stat from ESPN’s Ed Werder. 

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Realizing Burrow was sacked 70 occasions, it is a miracle of kinds that the Bengals had been in a position to overcome it to succeed in Tremendous Bowl 56. Examine that to Miami’s Dan Marino, who took the Dolphins to the Tremendous Bowl 19 in 1984 with a then-record 48 TDs. Marino took simply 13 sacks within the common season, however the 49ers sacked him 4 occasions in a 38-16 blowout. 

Inexperienced Bay’s Aaron Rodgers took 55 sacks (together with playoffs) in his second season as a starter earlier than he led the Packers to a Tremendous Bowl championship the next season when that quantity dropped to 39. 

Marino by no means reached the Tremendous Bowl once more. Rodgers has but to get again with the Packers, and he was dropped 5 occasions within the NFC divisional spherical in opposition to the 49ers this season. 

MORE: How Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase put collectively greatest rookie WR season in NFL historical past

If the Bengals and Burrow need to get again, then that pass-protection wants to alter. It was a subject of dialog final offseason when the Bengals handed on deal with Penei Sewell for Ja’Marr Chase, Burrow’s former teammate at LSU. There isn’t any strategy to argue Chase was the flawed decide given he had 81 catches for 1,455 yards and 13 TDs in one of many best rookie seasons since Randy Moss with Minnesota in 1998. 

However Cincinnati can’t make that argument once more. It will probably come through free company, the place the Bengals have greater than $60 million in cap area, or the NFL Draft, the place Cincinnati has drafted 4 offensive linemen within the first spherical since 2009. Nevertheless it needs to be a response to what transpired over the past month. 

A franchise quarterback merely can’t take that many hits, regardless of how escapable they’re. Staubach couldn’t get away from the Metal Curtain. Burrow merely couldn’t get away from the Rams’ go rush within the second half. 

The very fact Burrow is being talked about with these legendary quarterbacks is a testomony to his potential in Cincinnati, a popularity that flows from his highschool profession in Athens, Ohio to the 2019 nationwide championship season with LSU. Burrow obtained that first strive on the Tremendous Bowl stage, however the picture of Burrow clutching his proper knee was dangerously near when he clutched his left knee in opposition to Washington on Nov. 20, 2022. 

That is when he suffered ACL and MCL injury to his left knee. If the Bengals don’t do the whole lot they will to maintain Burrow upright on each knees sooner or later, then the long run will not be unsure. 

It will be an irresponsible catastrophe ready to occur. 


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