Why QB Joe Burrow is everything the Cincinnati Bengals needed


There’s a lot to write about and to consider with the NFL near the quarter point of the season. (Some 63 of 272 regular-season games have been played, 23 percent of the season, as of this morning.) So much to love about Kyler Murray and Derek Carr and others, and I don’t write about Joe Burrow here because he’s been the best quarterback in the league. I write about him because he is everything the Bengals needed. Cincinnati owner Mike Brown’s decision to not trade the number one pick in 2020 and stay put and pick Burrow will turn out to be great for the franchise for a long, long time.

A quarterback playing in Cincinnati doesn’t always have it easy. Since the Bengals got lucky in the 1984 draft and Boomer Esiason fell to them with the 38th pick, their quarterback draft choices have been a bit star-crossed, aside from Carson Palmer in 2003 and Andy Dalton in 2011. After Esiason, David Klingler (sixth overall, 1992) and Akili Smith (third overall, 1999) led to a dry spell at the position. Palmer lasted seven years and Dalton nine, and neither led the Bengals far into the playoffs. I don’t know if Burrow will either; Cincinnati is not a place that free agents flock. But there’s so much to like about Burrow after 14 NFL starts, even though he’s just 5-8-1 in those starts and he’s already survived one major knee surgery as a Cincinnati rookie.

One play showed me everything that’s good about Burrow in Cincinnati’s comeback from a 14-0 deficit against Jacksonville on Thursday night. Mike Florio and I discussed it Friday morning on his Pro Football Talk TV show on Peacock. Lo and behold, NFL Films had Burrow wired for sound in the game, and Films picked the play Florio and dissected Friday to feature on social channels over the weekend.

You may recall it: Second-and-13 for Cincinnati at the Jags’ 46, with 1:09 left in a 21-21 game. On the play, Jacksonville showed blitz, and the Jags followed through. At the snap, Jacksonville defensive coordinator Joe Cullen brought the house—a zero blitz, leaving every Cincinnati receiver single-covered with no deep help from safeties. To Burrow’s right, young receiver Trenton Irwin set a legal pick for tight end C.J. Uzomah, who broke free right near the line of scrimmage, with Burrow under heavy pressure.

A millisecond before getting plowed to the turf by Jags defensive end Dawuane Smoot, Burrow spotted Uzomah and delivered a throw to him in the right flat. Uzomah nabbed it and steamed 25 yards upfield, setting up the winning field goal as time expired.

NFL Films caught Burrow getting up, moving toward the huddle before the next play. “Can’t zero me!!” he said to no one.

On the bench, before the winning kick, Burrow was pumped. “Put it in my hands!” he said. “Put it in my hands. It’s over!”

They did, and it was over. The Bengals have some protection issues, and they don’t always run it like a playoff contender should. But they’ve got a quarterback. Burrow (25 for 32, 348 yards, two TDs, no picks, 132.8 rating Thursday night) is the right man at the right time for a team that exits Week 4 in a three-way tie for first place at 3-1 in the AFC North. I said it at the beginning of the year: The Bengals have a Dan Fouts for the future. As long as Burrow stays upright, Cincinnati is going to win more games than you’d bet they would.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, NFL.com and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!