Why Shannon Sharpe Still Isn’t Sold on ‘Average’ Joe Burrow

The Joe Burrow hype is at an all-time high. After the Cincinnati Bengals’ second-year quarterback helped lead them to a Super Bowl, he has received high praise and has become the center of the QB discussion. The Bengals couldn’t defeat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 56, and the talented LA defense got to the former LSU star time and time again. Aaron Donald and Von Miller disrupted him, and the Rams totaled seven sacks on Burrow in the Super Bowl.

There is no denying Burrow played well this season and during the playoffs. But, Shannon Sharpe is one person who isn’t the least bit impressed with the Bengals’ youngster, and he even went on to call him “very average.”

Shannon Sharpe isn’t riding the Joe Burrow hype train after a mediocre playoff run

The day after the Super Bowl, Sharpe and Skip Bayless spoke in great lengths about the game on Undisputed. Sharpe didn’t hold back, which isn’t anything new for him.

As good as Burrow was during the end of the regular season, his postseason numbers weren’t that good. Yes, the Bengals won the AFC and survived a trio of close games to do that, but Burrow’s numbers were pedestrian, at best.

The sacks are one thing — he was sacked nine times against the Tennessee Titans and seven in the Super Bowl. Still, Burrow wasn’t the most impressive, and when we deep dive into his postseason numbers, Sharpe’s point is even more evident.

Joe Burrow struggled in the playoffs after an impressive finish to the regular season

The Burrow debate won’t be going away anytime soon. Yes, he is exceptional and a rare talent. His demeanor and personality are contagious, and he never wavers under pressure.

But the numbers don’t lie. He had an average playoff run, precisely what Sharpe mentioned during Undisputed. To that point, his EPA (expected points added) was one of the worst since 2006.

Those stats are surprising, especially because Burrow was electric at the end of the regular season. Burrow combined for 971 yards and eight touchdowns in the final two games with zero interceptions in victories over the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens.

However, the playoffs were a different story. Here is how Burrow fared in the four games, including the Super Bowl:

  • Wild Card Round vs. Las Vegas Raiders: 24-34, 244 yards, two touchdowns
  • Divisional Round vs. Titans: 28-37, 348 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception
  • AFC Championship Game vs. Chiefs: 23-38, 250 yards, two touchdowns, one interceptions
  • Super Bowl 56 vs. Rams: 22-33, 263 yards, one touchdown

The only playoff game that Burrow eclipsed 300 yards was against the Titans, and it helps that Ja’Marr Chase had a 57-yard catch. He didn’t throw a single touchdown pass, and if it weren’t for a missed facemask call on Tee Higgins in the Super Bowl, he might not have thrown one in that game either.

That is an “average” string of games for Burrow, and let’s not forget that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs faltered in the second half to allow the Bengals to crawl back in and eventually get the victory and the AFC title.

But, sure, let’s go ahead and crown Burrow as one of the best QBs in the AFC and disregard Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert, to name a few.

Sharpe’s take on Burrow is right on the money, and the numbers back up his point precisely. Despite all of that, there is no denying that the Bengals QB has talent.

The “average” Bengals QB won’t be going anywhere and will keep getting better

Bengals QB Joe Burrow didn't impress Shannon Sharpe.
Joe Burrow and Shannon Sharpe | Ronald Martinez/ Cindy Ord/Getty Images/ Getty Images for SiriusXM

Burrow leaned on a stellar defensive performance and perhaps the best run by a kicker in NFL history as Evan McPherson kicked game-winner after game-winner. The Chase-Burrow connection worked wonders all season long and again the in playoffs.

But the numbers weren’t eye-popping in the postseason, showing that Sharpe’s take isn’t off at all.

However, the Bengals young superstar QB isn’t going away anytime soon. He is in the next generation of star QBs, with Allen, Herbert, Jackson, and Mahomes included in that cream of the crop of the AFC.

The sacks didn’t help him, either, and the Bengals need to fix that in the offseason. Can Burrow elevate to the tier that Mahomes and Allen are on?

Who knows, but as of now, he isn’t there yet, no matter what people are saying about the young gunslinger.

Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference

RELATED: Shannon Sharpe Sends the Bengals an Ominous Warning About Joe Burrow’s Future