Cincinnati Bengals Bench Joe Burrow After Career-Worst Performance

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Contributor
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My brother, a Bengals fan, is utterly sick over this, and I don’t blame him.

Last season, everything was aces for the Cincinnati Bengals with the franchise reaching the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive year. The majority of the team returned for the 2023 campaign, which obviously gave the team incredibly high expectations to make another run for a Super Bowl appearance (and title at that). However, things have gotten off to an absolutely horrendous start — and I mean, horrendous.

For their Week 1 contest, the Bengals took to the road to play the Cleveland Browns in a refresher of the AFC North rivalry. Rain was pouring down throughout the entire game, resulting in both teams’ passing attacks being stalemate. DeShaun Watson and Cleveland, however, didn’t do anywhere as bad as Joe Burrow and Cincinnati.

Burrow had multiple career-worsts, completing just 14 of his 31 passes for a measly 82 yards, with the Browns sacking him twice. Heading into this game with 49 career starts on his resume, Burrow never completed less than 50% of his passes in a game; that all changed with his terrible performance today. And before Sunday, Burrow’s career low in passing yards was 148, with him falling 66 yards short of that mark against Cleveland. (RELATED: Houston Texans’ CJ Stroud Completes His First Career Pass … To Himself?)

As a matter of fact, things were so screwed up for the Bengals that they just completely gave up on the game and benched Burrow. With eight minutes left in the game and Cincinnati down 24-3, the Bengals were facing a 4th-and-5 situation on their own 30-yard line. Any team in that spot wanting to continue the contest would go for it, but Cincinnati was clearly waving the white flag as they punted the ball away, nixing Burrow the rest of the game after.

Yeah, it was pretty bad.