NFL

Joe Burrow grades himself a 'D' after narrow defeat on Bengals debut

By Sports Desk September 14, 2020

Joe Burrow harshly graded his performance a "D" after the Cincinnati Bengals fell to a narrow defeat against the Los Angeles Chargers on the rookie quarterback's NFL debut.

The Bengals were just a play away from scoring a winning touchdown on the first outing since Burrow was selected as the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft as the Chargers claimed a 16-13 win at Paul Brown Stadium.

No quarterback selected first has won in week one of a rookie year since David Carr in 2002 and Burrow felt he fell short on a few plays, including overthrows for receivers John Ross and A.J. Green for what would have been touchdowns.

Even still, Burrow led the Bengals to within striking distance late in the game, only for Green to be called for pushing off in the end zone, before Randy Bullock missed a field goal to take the game into overtime.

"[I would give myself a] 'D'," Burrow responded when asked to grade his performance.

"I can't miss that throw to A.J.. A high schooler can make that throw. And I can't throw the ball right to Melvin Ingram when we're in scoring range, so it was a tough way to lose.

"I made too many mistakes to win the game. I missed A.J. on a deep ball and John on a deep ball and then I threw the interception – that just can't happen."

On the dramatic finale, Burrow added: "I'm obviously upset we didn't score a touchdown.

"I thought we played well enough on that particular drive to put it in the end zone and then they [the officials] made the call.

"I'm not sure what happened on the kick, but it doesn't matter what happened on the kick. We should have put them away a lot of times before that.

"I shouldn't have missed the throw to A.J. and thrown the interception. A lot of different plays affected the game."

Burrow finished with 23-of-36 passing for 193 yards, one rushing touchdown and one interception, and head coach Zac Taylor felt there were plenty of positives to take.

"Some good and some things we have to improve on," Taylor replied when asked to sum up Burrow's performance.

"There were some missed opportunities but overall, he kept his composure. He moved onto the next snap, which is important.

"He made some critical plays down the stretch that put us in position to tie or win the game. I thought his decision-making overall was really good – where he went with the ball.

"In the first half, he was running for his life there. We did a better job of minimising that in the second half."

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