Luckily for Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, they had a bounce back in the second half that allowed him to end up with just a pretty bad, not so good, not so terrible and horrible day.
Regardless, Joe Cool did not have a relaxing start to his season.
Joe Burrow Forgets to Set Alarm Clock for Week 1
The Super Bowl hangover proved to be real for Burrow who barely played or practiced in the preseason due to a last minute appendectomy in the offseason right before training camp started. So naturally there was some rust there. But I don't think anyone anticipated a five turnover game that went into a kicking nightmare overtime kind of rust.
Joe Burrow first half pic.twitter.com/r7JomJEPAr
— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) September 11, 2022
In the first half alone, Burrow had four turnovers (three interceptions and one strip-sack fumble) and went 11-for-17 for 109 yards. His nemesis was the ever inevitable TJ Watt who dominated for the Pittsburgh Steelers defense until he left the game with an apparent pectoral injury.
Steelers defense when they see Joe Burrow in the pocket pic.twitter.com/wooGkKwDXN
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 11, 2022
Things turned around for Cincinnati in the second half and Burrow was able to start connecting with top targets Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins to string together enough plays to be able to force overtime against the Steelers. Fantasy football owners (myself included) who may have been panicking were happy to see him go from negative numbers to a double digit fantasy point finish.
He finished the game with 338 yards, two touchdowns, and a two-point conversion and a completion percentage of 62.3 percent. But it still wasn't enough to overcome a Steelers team that passed for 194 yards and rushed for 75 yards on the ground.
Joe UnCool Wasn't the Only Bengal to Flop
In a battle of bad kicking matchups that saw both Evan McPherson and Chris Boswell both miss potential game winning field goal attempts, including a doink sound that will likely haunt Pittsburgh fans for eternity, Boswell finally finished it off by nailing a 53-yarder.
It's unlikely that we see a performance like this again from Burrow and Cincinnati now those first game back jitters are out of the way. But they face a tough divisional road when they face the Browns and Ravens twice and travel to Pittsburgh to face the Terrible Towel crowd at home.
In a packed AFC it will be hard for them to make the kind of surprise run that they did last year when they made a run to the super bowl where they would eventually lose to the Rams.
But maybe this all just a week one overreaction like we are all prone to make. There's a lot of regular season left in front of us, and Cincinnati has the weapons on both sides of the ball with an elite wide receiver group and Joe Mixon being able to line up in the backfield. But to make it back to the playoffs and contend for another deep AFC playoff run, Joe Burrow needs to have better days under center for the Bengals.