The Cincinnati Bengals entered the 2023 NFL season as the favorite to win the AFC North and, perhaps, mount a deep postseason run in the process. However, the Bengals haven't found it easy at all to get some wins to begin the new campaign; in fact, even if they won their first game of the season on Monday night, a scrappy 19-16 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, quarterback Joe Burrow remains far from his best, which is a concern for fans who are still waiting for their team to turn on the jets.
Burrow, in particular, was inefficient for the Bengals on Monday night. He may have tallied 259 yards, but that came on 49 passing attempts, “good” for a subpar 5.28 yards per attempt. And he didn't even throw a touchdown pass, all the while coughing it up once on a pick. And in doing so, the Bengals QB will not live in infamy for having one of the worst three-game starts to a season in NFL history.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Joe Burrow, by virtue of averaging 4.7 yards per attempt through the first three games of the Bengals' 2023 season, has now posted the third-worst yards per attempt among QBs to start all three games in the last 20 seasons. Only 2008 Derek Anderson (for the Cleveland Browns) and 2005 JP Losman (for the Buffalo Bills) did worse, at 4.4 and 4.5, respectively.
Of course, it's worth mentioning that Burrow isn't exactly 100 percent; he is dealing with an injury to his right calf, which may be hampering his performances as of late. Even with that caveat, however, being in this company doesn't exactly serve as a good omen for the Bengals. The 2008 Browns and 2005 Bills ended up winning just four and five games, respectively, during those campaigns, which is simply unacceptable for a team with as talented of a roster as the Bengals do.
Week 4 will be an interesting test for Joe Burrow and the Bengals, as they'll be taking on a Tennessee Titans defense that allowed Deshaun Watson to have a strong game (27/33 for 289 yards and two touchdowns — better than any game Burrow has thrown thus far this season).