CINCINNATI — Bengals coach Zac Taylor did not hesitate when requested whether or not quarterback Joe Burrow needs to be in rivalry to win the NFL’s Most Worthwhile Participant award.
“Absolutely,” Taylor mentioned.
Burrow added to his rising listing of credentials in a press release 27-24 win over the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs on Sunday. Burrow turned the primary quarterback to beat Ok.C. counterpart Patrick Mahomes in three straight video games. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady is the one different quarterback to have that many victories versus Mahomes, the 2018 MVP.
Bengals broad receiver Ja’Marr Chase firmly agreed along with his coach about Burrow’s MVP candidacy.
“He’s one of the best quarterbacks in this league,” Chase mentioned. “Everybody knows that. He should be in the MVP race. If he’s not in it, he should be. Number one quarterback in the race.”
Burrow was 25-of-31 passing for 286 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday.
Cincinnati (8-4) entered the fourth quarter trailing Kansas Metropolis (9-3) by a landing earlier than issues turned within the Bengals’ favor. After linebacker Germaine Pratt stripped the ball out of Kansas Metropolis tight finish Travis Kelce’s grip and recovered the fumble, Burrow and the offense went to work.
With the Bengals trailing 24-20 at that time, Cincinnati went on a 10-play drive capped by an 8-yard landing move from Burrow to working again Chris Evans. That was Burrow’s ninth passing rating within the fourth quarter, probably the most by any quarterback within the NFL this season, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Info analysis.
Taylor was fast to reward Burrow’s move safety on Sunday. Burrow was not pressured on 27 of his move makes an attempt, per NFL Subsequent Gen Stats, and was sacked simply as soon as.
However the third-year participant proved slippery all through the day. He had a career-high 11 carries for 46 yards and one speeding landing. He now has 5 speeding touchdowns, matching Jack Thompson’s 1979 report for probably the most by a Bengals quarterback in a single season.
“He has great size and elusiveness,” Kansas Metropolis defensive finish Frank Clark mentioned. “People don’t really put a lot of respect on his name when it comes to how elusive he is in the pocket and his pocket presence.”
Taylor, the workforce’s playcaller, put the ball in Burrow’s arms to seal the sport and finish Kansas Metropolis’s streak of 14 consecutive victories within the month of December, a stretch that dates again to Mahomes’ first yr as a starter in 2018.
On third-and-11, Bengals broad receiver Tee Higgins mentioned he and Tyler Boyd thought Cincinnati was going to run the ball to chew up some clock. Higgins mentioned the receivers checked out Burrow within the huddle and requested him a easy query: run or move?
“He said, ‘Pass,'” Higgins mentioned. “We all looked at each other. He said, ‘Let’s get it done.'”
Burrow and the Bengals did simply that. He discovered Higgins for a 14-yard completion that successfully ended the sport.
Each of Cincinnati’s victories in opposition to Kansas Metropolis final season got here on successful discipline objectives as time expired. In opposition to the AFC’s high workforce to date in 2022, the successful margin was greater.
Burrow shrugged off the MVP dialogue from Taylor and his teammates.
“I don’t play the game for those kinds of accolades,” Burrow mentioned. “I play the game for those guys in the locker room. What it takes from me every Sunday, that’s what I’ll do. If I have to hand the ball off 72 times and come out with a win, I’ll be happy.”
Coming into Sunday, Burrow ranked third within the NFL in fourth-quarter QBR, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Info.
When Cincinnati wanted huge performs in opposition to one of many NFL’s finest groups and quarterbacks, Burrow delivered.
“He’s playing at the level we need for him to lead us, to be confident that we can win every game we play,” Taylor mentioned, including that there isn’t any doubt about Burrow’s standing within the MVP dialog. “I’ve said it before. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the world.”
ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.