Joe Burrow: Why Bengals star will win 2022 NFL MVP
The 2022 NFL season is coming down the homestretch, with Week 18 nearly upon us. Many teams are still fighting to find a way into the playoffs, but the Cincinnati Bengals are not one of those teams. Led by star quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals are still fighting for playoff seeding, but they have already clinched a spot in the playoffs.
The Bengals have a lot to play for in their final two games of the season in terms of seeding, and while the status of those two games remains up in the air after their Week 17 contest against the Buffalo Bills was suspended after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, Cincy will obviously make sure they are prepared for those games, even as the focus around the league obviously remains centered on Hamlin’s health and well-being.
When Cincinnati does return to the field, though, they could see Burrow put the finishing touches on an MVP campaign. Burrow has been fantastic for the second straight season, and after a rocky start to the season, he has led the turnaround that has seen the Bengals emerge as the top team in the AFC North. So with the season winding down, let’s see why Burrow will end up winning the 2022 NFL MVP award.
Why Joe Burrow will win the 2022 NFL MVP
In 2021, Burrow and the Bengals flew under the radar all season long, and eventually ended up in Super Bowl LVI against the Los Angeles Rams. While they ultimately didn’t end up winning the game, it was clear that the Bengals would be on everyone’s radar in the 2022 season, and sure enough, that has proven to be the case.
Burrow won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award in 2021 for his strong play (366/520, 4611 YDS, 34 TD, 14 INT) but somehow didn’t get selected to the Pro Bowl. That changed this season, as Burrow earned his first Pro Bowl selection, and continued to lead one of the league’s most dynamic offense’s in the game.
The NFL still hasn’t decided what will happen with the currently suspended matchup between the Bills and Bengals, so for now, Burrow’s numbers are a bit behind the competition. Still, he’s on pace to surpass pretty much every total he set last year when he led the Bengals to the Super Bowl. Burrow’s numbers through 15 games (389/564, 4260 YDS, 34 TD, 12 INT) could see him eclipse 5000 passing yards and 40 touchdowns by the end of the season.
Again, there are still questions regarding the fate of the Bengals final two games of the season, but assuming he does play two more games this season, Burrow would immediately put himself in a great position to win his first career MVP award. Even with a rocky start to the season, Burrow has proven that last season was no fluke, and that he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
With the offense tailored around the passing game, Burrow’s numbers have only improved. His per game averages aren’t as high as they were last season, but that is largely due to the team’s slow 4-4 start to the season. With a new offensive line, a tough slate of opponents, and more attention being focused on them from opposing defenses, it took Burrow awhile to get the Bengals offense off the ground.
But Burrow has led the Bengals on a seven-game win streak back to the top of the AFC North, and they still have a shot to earn the top seed in the AFC, although it would require the Kansas City Chiefs to lose to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18, which doesn’t seem likely to happen. But during this recent stretch, it’s tough to find another quarterback who has been better than Burrow.
Burrow has been at the top of his game while leading the Bengals to huge wins over playoff caliber teams such as the Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Kansas City Chiefs. Part of winning the MVP award involves winning big games, and Burrow has certainly shown a penchant for doing that throughout his career, including this year.
Ultimately, Burrow’s MVP candidacy may depend on what happens over his final two contests, as it looks like it’s becoming a three-man race between himself, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen. Burrow’s numbers compare pretty favorably to these guys, but he’s going to need a pair of explosive outings to close out the season if he wants to win the award.
But considering how good Burrow is against the best teams in the league, and what’s at stake for Cincinnati in these games, betting on him to have a pair of big games is a safe call, and when all is said and done, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him walk away with the first of what could be many MVP awards when the 2022 season is over.
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