Joe Burrow Delivers Historic Performance as Bengals Move Closer to AFC North Title

Second-year QB Joe Burrow did more than just lead the Bengals to victory in Week 16. His massive statistical performance was one of the best passing games in NFL history.
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Joe Burrow Delivers Historic Performance as Bengals Move Closer to AFC North Title

So, Joe Burrow did a thing on Sunday in a critical AFC North Division matchup. For the second time this season, he and the Cincinnati Bengals pummeled the Baltimore Ravens. With the win, the Bengals took over sole possession of first place in the division with just two games to play. Cincinnati is also now the odds-on NFL betting favorite to win the AFC North for the first time since 2015.

It wasn’t even two full years ago that the Bengals took Burrow with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. After a frustrating rookie season that was cut short by injury, Burrow has given Cincinnati hope for both the present and the future in his sophomore campaign. Burrow’s performance in Sunday’s win did more than simply put the Bengals on the cusp of the division crown. He also etched his name in the NFL record books with one of the greatest passing games the league has ever seen.

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Burrow took full advantage of an injury-depleted Ravens’ secondary to pile up a ridiculous 525 passing yards and four touchdowns on Sunday. That yardage total marks the fourth-highest single-game total by any quarterback in NFL history. It was also just the eighth time ever that a QB threw for 520 yards or more in a game. Making the stat line all the more impressive is a completion percentage of 80.4% and an overall passer rating of 143.2. Both of those marks are better than the three other QBs with higher single-game yardage totals. 

Refer to the table below to see just how Burrow’s Week 16 stat line compares with the other 520+ passing yardage games in league history.

PlayerTeamGame DateCompletion PercentageYardsTouchdownsInterceptionsPasser Rating
Norm Van BrocklinLos Angeles RamsSeptember 28, 195165.9%55452128.3
Warren MoonHouston OilersDecember 16, 199060.0%52730123.1
Matt SchaubHouston TexansNovember 18, 201278.2%52752121.7
Joe BurrowCincinnati BengalsDecember 26, 202180.4%52540143.2
Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh SteelersOctober 16, 201481.6%52260150.6
Boomer EsiasonArizona CardinalsNovember 10, 199659.3%5223477.1
Dan MarinoMiami DolphinsOctober 23, 198858.3%5213568.8
Matthew StaffordDetroit LionsJanuary 1, 201261.0%52052103.8

The Bengals prioritized drafting star receivers and adding to Burrow’s arsenal of weapons this past spring. While there are still concerns as to how Cincinnati’s offensive line will hold up in the playoffs, it may not matter with so many playmakers on the field. Fellow 2020 draftee Tee Higgins exploded for 194 yards receiving and two touchdowns on Sunday. Rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase also eclipsed the 100-yard threshold. Each of Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, and even tight end C.J. Uzomah also got in on the fun. 

After getting beat up by the Ravens in the AFC North Division for the better part of the last decade, Burrow and the Bengals certainly got the best of them this season. Cincinnati outscored the Ravens 82-38 in their two matchups. 

From an individual standpoint, Burrow threw for 941 yards, seven touchdowns, and just one interception in the two games against Baltimore. Talk about dominating a division rival! Bengals fans certainly hope that this is a sign of things to come in future years as well.


Henry has had a passion for sports that few can match for as long as he can remember. What started out as a five-year-old taking interest in the New York Jets and their green jerseys has since become a full-fledged career as a writer and sports betting analyst. His coverage primarily includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, college football, and college basketball. In 2020, he ranked among the top-10 most accurate experts ATS in the BettingPros NFL season contest. You can follow Henry’s sports work on Twitter and other social media platforms @HankTimeSports.

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