Joe Burrow Should be in the MVP Conversation

Now relax. This isn’t an Onion article. This isn’t me being a super homer. This isn’t even that real. But shut up for a second and hear me out. What does “MVP” mean? It means “Most Valuable Player.” It doesn’t mean “Best Player on the Best Team,” which is how it’s awarded each year. Remember when Tom Brady went down and the Patriots went 11-5? Maybe Brady wasn’t the “MVP” of that team? It’s always tough to say “what if.” What if Mahomes was hurt? What would the Chiefs be like? What if Lamar Jackson was gone? How would the Ravens be? We may never know. But now, we get the answer to the worst “what if” question out there. What if Joe Burrow wasn’t playing for the Bengals?

Sunday was a tough day. Like, a really tough day for me. I’ve been a Bengals fan for as long as I can remember and it’s awesome and sucks. But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about BDJ – Joe Burrow. I’m honestly a little sick of people bashing the o-line. I get it, to an extent. But this was a freak accident. Burrow was crushed by two people at the same time – one high – one low. I mean the NFL set up RULES against this and there wasn’t a flag in sight. Nevermind that. It doesn’t matter now.

But let’s talk about how good Joe Burrow is. He didn’t get sacked against a Tennessee team who looks like a playoff contender. He didn’t get sacked against Tennessee with 4 new offensive linemen. Joe Burrow had not been sacked in the first half of the game against Washington. He was 22-34 with 203 yards and a fairly clean jersey Sunday. After his injury, he was replaced by Ryan Finley. Finley’s numbers were 3-10 for 30 yards, an INT, and 4 sacks. 4 sacks in 14 dropbacks with the same line that Burrow dropped back behind 34 times. It’s a small sample size but the rest of this year might be ROUGH. Zac Taylor and gang have hidden behind Burrow’s greatness for most of the year. Now, they have to trot Ryan Finley out there and give him the shitty play calls they’ve given Burrow all year.

So let’s not take this out on the o-line. If you want to take it out on someone, take it out on the Bengals in general. A couple days have passed and now I’m hearing rumblings in the locker room about the lack of culture. I don’t know what to believe. Joe Burrow tore his ACL, his MCL, his PCL, his knee is shattered. And you know what? The next day…THE NEXT DAY he was at Paul Brown Stadium. Addressing his team. He is a leader. He is THE leader. I believe in Joe Burrow. If Zac Taylor is as bad as these rumblings say, get him out. But I trust Joe Burrow. If Joe believes in Taylor, then maybe it’s okay? I’ve been calling for Taylor to be fired all year – but it’s because of play calls and the lack of doing anything in general.

Randy Bullock shouldn’t be on the team. But Luke, all he’s done is go 89/104 (85.58%) on FGs and 121/127 on XPs (95.28%). But I promise you, 6 of those 6 extra point misses and 15 of those 15 FG misses were makeable and in serious situations. Imagine the Bengals being 1-0 in 2020 versus 0-1 losing on a missed 30 yard FG. That’s momentum. That’s a winning culture. Missing 30 yard field goals is a losing culture that doesn’t change.

Alex Erickson shouldn’t be on the team. But Luke, all he’s done is make it to a Pro Bowl for being a returner and led the league in return yards. There isn’t a stat for how many times you fair catch the ball inside the 10. Or let the ball go over your head when you’re at the 20 and it gets downed at the 2. Every time Erickson is on the field, it’s a disaster and I’m nervous. How about the Bengals defense forcing a Steelers punt in the biggest game of the year and Erickson fumbling it? Zac Taylor said “If not Erickson, then who?” He cited Darius Phillips being out. He said Boyd is sure handed but we value him on offense. I agree. But honestly, give someone a chance or make someone go fair catch every ball. Pacman Jones was great back there but he had a chance to make plays and he was hungry. Erickson is not. Brandon Tate was not. Don’t put your 7th receiver back there just because.

Lou Anarumo should be fired. I don’t know where we went wrong. The Bengals used to have a great defense. A Mike Zimmer led defense that was tops in the league. Lou Anarumo doesn’t have any respect from the players. They miss tackles, they blow coverage, their best players are disgruntled, leave, and then have game winning sacks. Get rid of him.

Brian Callahan is the Bengals O Coordinator and he’s another young guy who has done nothing. But you know what? I can’t get mad at his time in Cinci because he hasn’t been able to do anything? He doesn’t call the plays. What does an offensive coordinator do that doesn’t call the plays? Taylor shouldn’t call the plays. I’ve said it since about week 3 last year.

Get rid of the coaches. Make a big hire. Get rid of the entire freaking medical staff. That’s another blog, but if you’re interested, look at the Bengals medical staff history. 13 of their last 14 first round picks haven’t played a full season. out of the last 6 years, the one who played the most missed 6 games. AJ Green missed 2 years with turf toe. Joe Mixon was out for 3 weeks this year and then put on IR? Players get hurt and never get better. Players disappear. Xavier Su’a-Filo got hurt in the opener and was expected back for the Steelers game and no one knows why he’s still MIA?

Joe Burrow is done for the 2020 season. Honestly, he might be done for the 2021 season. Let’s clean house. Let’s clean this mess up. You have a once in a generation player. He’s proved it. He should be the MVP. To cover up for a bullshit team like he does, he deserves something. He has my vote. But let’s make sure that the next time he suits up, it’s not just my vote that he gets. Let’s get a team and an organization around him that makes everyone say “Wow, Joe Burrow is really, really good.” Let’s go to a Super Bowl. Lets win a Super Bowl. Let’s let the city and fans of Cincinnati get what they deserve. Right now, we deserve better.