From Greg Cook's brief but tantalizing career, to Carson Palmer's shredded knee and wasted prime, to Andy Dalton's mediocrity, the history of quarterbacks in Cincinnati has been at worst heartbreaking and at best, frustrating.
So, history seemed to be repeating itself when Ohio's Very Own, Joe Burrow, had his rapid rise to superstardom halted, and his rookie season ended, by a torn ACL. Instead, Burrow returned with aplomb in 2021, guiding the Bengals to their first postseason berth since 2015 and winning Comeback Player of the Year.
With fewer than 50 starts to his name, Burrow's career is only just beginning. Join us as we take a look at his record against every NFL team.
|Team||Burrow's regular season record||Burrow's postseason record|
|Green Bay Packers||0-1||N/A|
|Kansas City Chiefs||2-0||1-1|
|Las Vegas Raiders||1-0||1-0|
|Los Angeles Chargers||0-2||N/A|
|Los Angeles Rams||1-0||0-1|
|New England Patriots||2-0||N/A|
|New Orleans Saints||1-0||N/A|
|New York Giants||N/A||N/A|
|New York Jets||1-1||N/A|
|San Francisco 49ers||1-1||N/A|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1-0||N/A|
Burrow vs the Baltimore Ravens
The story of the AFC North for the better part of this century has been the Steelers and Ravens playing the part of the big brothers to the diminutive little brothers, the Bengals and Browns.
Burrow was introduced to this way of life early in his rookie year, when Cincinnati was swatted aside by Baltimore, 27-3. That was loss No. 4 in what would become a five-game losing skid for the Bengals against their divisional foe.
However, upon Burrow's return in 2021, he set about reversing the landscape of the AFC North. The Bengals made a statement in Week 7, going into Baltimore and leaving with a 41-17 win — aided by Burrow's 416 yards and three scores.
The rematch, in Week 16, followed a similar script, with Cincinnati hanging another 41 points on the Baltimore Ravens in a 41-21 win. Burrow outdid himself that day with the best game of his young career, going 37 for 46 for 525 yards and four touchdowns.
Joe Burrow all-time game:— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 26, 2021
That’s the 3rd most passing yards in a game in NFL history.
Burrow is the 2nd QB ever to have a 80%, 500/4 game (Big Ben). pic.twitter.com/VnRmy3vF2x
Unfortunately Burrow found himself on the losing side of affairs again in Week 5 of the 2022 season, when the Bengals came up just short against the Ravens in a 19-17 squeaker on Sunday Night Football. Burrow connected on just 24 of his 35 pass attempts in the narrow defeat.
Burrow got a big measure of revenge against Baltimore in Week 18 with a resounding 27-16 victory, and again seven days later when he led the Bengals to a 24-17 win over the Ravens on Super Wild Card Weekend. "Joe Brrr" threw for 209 yards and one TD to punch Cincy's ticket to the NFL Divisional Round.
Burrow dropped both games to the Ravens in 2023, losing 27-24 at home in Week 2, and 34-20 on the road in Week 11. He missed the entire second half of the latter game with a wrist injury.
Burrow vs the Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh's dominance over Cincinnati has been more extreme and much more long-lasting. The Bengals are just 39-68 all-time against the Steelers, and Burrow's first meeting with them — a 36-10 loss — was Cincinnati's 11th straight at the hands of Pittsburgh.
The 2021 season was, as it was against the Ravens, a different story for Burrow's Bengals. The then-sophomore passer got his first win over Pittsburgh in Week 3, in a straightforward 24-10 victory. He then took his newfound love of smackdowns into a Week 12 clash in Cincinnati, putting up another 40 points in a 41-10 Bengals win.
Burrow came up big again in Week 11 of the 2022 season, leading the Bengals to a 37-30 victory over the Steelers by throwing for 355 yards and four TDs.
A combined 5-3 record against the Ravens and Steelers is out of the norm for a Bengals quarterback, but as Burrow has quickly proven, he's not the norm under center in Cincinnati. Burrow will not be bent by the whims of the Football Gods, who are all too often having fun at the expense of the Bengals faithful.
It's a new dawn on the Ohio River.
- Josh Allen's record against every NFL team
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- Patrick Mahomes' record against every NFL team
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Burrow vs the Kansas City Chiefs
You simply can't tell the young story of Joe Burrow without mentioning the Kansas City Chiefs, who played the antagonist in two of Burrow's most heroic stories.
Just a week after his 525-yard showing against Baltimore, Burrow and the Bengals hosted the Chiefs for the first meeting between Burrow and Patrick Mahomes — but it was Kansas City's defense doing the heavy lifting for the team at that point, operating as one of the NFL's best units.
Burrow showed no regard for the Chiefs' relentless defense, trading punches with Mahomes en route to 446 yards and four scores on 30-of-39 passing. A six-minute, 15-play, 74-yard drive — with the AFC North title on the line — capped off the phenomenal showing, as Burrow set up rookie kicker Evan McPherson for a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Joe Burrow connects with WR J'Marr Chase again for an 18-yard touchdown. PAT is good. Chase now has five catches for 111 yards and 2 TDs. #Chiefs - 21#Bengals - 14#ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/Gp6jjQVaiz— Devon Clements (@DevclemNFL) January 2, 2022
That wasn't all for Kansas City and Cincinnati, as less than a month later, the two would meet in the AFC Championship game. While not the offensive display from the regular season, Burrow and the Bengals did enough to come back from a 21-10 half-time deficit to win 27-24, with Burrow leading Cincinnati on a nine-play 42-yard drive to set up the game-winning field goal in overtime.
Burrow and Mahomes tangled again in the AFC Championship Game in 2023, but this time "Showtime" had the last laugh, leading Kansas City to a narrow 23-20 victory while throwing for 326 yards and two TDs.
Burrow vs the Los Angeles Rams
While L.A. quarterback Matthew Stafford would guide the Rams on a game-winning drive late on, Burrow acquitted himself well in the biggest game of his career.
Burrow's final line — 22-33 for 263 yards and a TD — was fairly pedestrian by the lofty standards he set down the stretch, but the Rams' pass rush deserves a lot of the credit as they sacked him seven times and hit him 11 more. Yet, Burrow had the Bengals in a position to win, with Cincinnati leading 20-16 into the fourth quarter.
Burrow had to wait a while, but he finally got his revenge in Week 3 of the 2023 season, when he led the Bengals to a narrow 19-16 win over the Rams on Monday Night Football. The LSU alum looked a little rusty at times while dealing with a strained right calf, but he did just enough to help Cincy secure it's first win of the season.
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Burrow vs the Las Vegas Raiders
Though Burrow's only faced the Las Vegas Raiders twice in his young career, it's Vegas who helped launch Burrow's legend in Ohio.
While neither the score, a 26-19 Bengals win, nor Burrow's stat line — a modest 24-34, 244 yards, two TDs — in the Wild Card Round were spectacular, the significance of this victory was a spectacle unto itself.
In leading Cincinnati past Vegas, Burrow delivered the franchise its first playoff win in 31 years, ending one of the longest droughts in sports.
The Bengals were on a 31 year playoff win and 32 year AFC championship appearance drought. Then, Joe Burrow showed up. pic.twitter.com/5gSVLpRPfb— Joel Moran (@joelvmoran) January 23, 2022
Proving just how different he is to the passers of Bengals past, Burrow didn't settle with just the one postseason victory, going on the road to knockoff the No. 1 seed Titans, then the vaunted Chiefs en route to the Super Bowl.
Burrow and the Bengals' magical 2021 season didn't get its storybook ending, but as the charismatic star has proven, he'll only come back better than before.