What tells us that the Bengals are the real deal are the divisions. Through the first seven weeks of the season (with Chase), the Bengals had the fifth-best passing offensive DVOA at 31.5% and their overall offensive DVOA was seventh at 11.7%.
In the second half of the season (without Chase), the Bengals’ passing offense did not abate. They ranked sixth, but their DVOA increased to 44.9% and their overall offense is now first at 36.4%; mainly because of the way they used their run attack. Over these past four games, the Bengals have the #1 DVOA rushing offense, at 32.2%.
Since Week 9, they have 562 rushing yards and Burrow has thrown for 1,114 yards, eight touchdowns and averaged a 105.4 quarterback rating.
Part of this success is down to how well the front five are playing. The offensive line has been revamped since last year. The only player who remained on the depth chart was left tackle Jonah Williams. So it’s no wonder it took the first half of the season for these guys to solidify themselves. This offensive line allowed just one sack against the Chiefs, bringing the total to five, in the last four games. That’s the best pass blocking span of Burrow’s entire career!
The Bengals now rank fifth in the league in time of possession, averaging 32 minutes, by team classification. This increased by two minutes from last year. In 2021, the Bengals were ranked 12th, averaging 30 minutes in time of possession.
With all the extra time in the bag, Burrow now has opportunities to dissect defenses, which is how he’s been able to move the offense through the air without his number one threat.
Here are some tight window shots Burrow has taken in recent weeks:
Between Burrow’s incredible placement and throwing back, it should come as no surprise that he ranks second in completion percentage (69.4%), T-third in touchdowns (25), fourth in quarterback rating (103.9), fifth in in yards per attempt. (7.9), and sixth in finishes (308).
According to NFL.com, the Bengals have the third most 20+ yard passing plays, with 44.
With Burrow showing no signs of slowing down, he could put himself in the MVP conversation. Here’s what Burrow had to say on that topic: “I’m not in the game for that kind of praise. I play the game for those guys in the locker room. What takes me every Sunday, that’s what I’ll do. If I have to turn the ball over 72 times and come away with a win, I’ll be happy.”
The Bengals are now picking up the pace with Chase back in the lineup, and if they continue to play as efficiently on offense, there’s no telling how far they could end up in the playoffs. Hopefully, you didn’t write them off in the middle of the season like others…
— First things first (@FTFonFS1) December 5, 2022
…because they could find their way by doing a Super Bowl replay.
Only time will tell!