Joe Burrow: 'I Love Playing the Ravens Because They Talk'
Joe Burrow said he loves playing the Ravens "because they talk." The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback then did some talking of his own.
"You don't really want to talk [trash] to me," Burrow said on yesterday's episode of the "Full Send Podcast." " … [The Ravens] talk. I love that. [The score] was a lot to a little [in both of the Bengals' wins over the Ravens last season]. I threw for 520-something in the second one and I threw for 400-something in the first one. … Yeah, I love playing the Ravens. They like to talk. I don't start the talking. But if somebody pokes me, I can talk a little bit."
Inside linebacker Patrick Queen, who played with Burrow at LSU, apparently heard Burrow's comments.
When Queen was asked about Burrow and the Ravens-Bengals rivalry during an appearance on "The Rich Eisen Show last week, he said: "Joe's my guy. There's no bad blood between us. But Joe's just got that swagger about him that when you play against him it's hard to just sit there and be cool with him. There's an edge about him that gets everybody else fired up."
Fuel was added to the rivalry during the teams' second meeting last year. With Cincinnati leading by 20 with two minutes remaining in the game, Burrow completed a deep pass to Joe Mixon for 52 yards. That completion gave Burrow 525 yards, breaking the Bengals' single-game passing record of 490 yards set by Boomer Esiason in 1990.
The Ravens had their way with Burrow the only time they faced him in 2020. They sacked him seven times, intercepted him once and limited him to 183 yards in a 27-3 win.
Baltimore hosts the Bengals in Week 5 on "Sunday Night Football" and ends the regular season at Cincinnati.
NFL Executive Says Ravens Should Consider Paying Lamar Jackson on Year-to-Year Basis
The Ravens have made it clear they want to sign Lamar Jackson to a long-term contract, but one NFL executive believes they should consider a different approach because of concerns about his durability.
"One league exec said the Ravens would be foolish not to at least consider paying Jackson on a year-to-year basis, going from the fifth-year option of $23 million for next season to two franchise tags," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler wrote.
Jackson has said his focus is on getting ready for the coming season and leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl win, not his contract.
"You have to give Jackson credit here: He has made himself millions by waiting," Fowler wrote. "The market has gone up exponentially since last summer, with four passers (Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen) all above $43 million per year. As a former MVP with 105 total touchdowns and an astounding 37-12 record as a starter, Jackson can justify at least asking for something in the ballpark of Watson's five-year, $230 million deal.
"The flip side is Jackson isn't coming off a great year — his 50.7 QBR was well below what he put up in the previous two seasons — and was sidelined for five games, fueling the conversation about whether his dual-threat style of play will affect long-term durability."
The durability issue always comes up, but it's worth noting that the ankle injury that sidelined Jackson last season occurred while he was throwing a pass under pressure; it was not a running play. Jackson has proven adept at avoiding big hits when he runs.
Tyler Huntley Makes Chris Simms' Top 40 Quarterback Rankings
Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley, who opened eyes around the league when he filled in for an injured Jackson last season, landed at No. 34 in NBC Sports' Chris Simms annual top 40 quarterback rankings. Considering there's 32 teams, that nearly puts Huntley in full-time starter territory.
"I think this guy is good," Simms said. "He may have been put in the toughest spot of anybody last year. He had to come in and they were in the playoff race still, and they were going through a stretch of the schedule that was probably the toughest part of the schedule for them the whole year.
"He has a pretty strong arm. He can push the ball down the field and he can put enough zip on it to put some balls into tight windows over the middle to Mark Andrews and company. … He is tough. He can make some special runs happen."
Huntley, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2020, has four career starts in the NFL. The players ranked from 35-40 are: the Texans' Davis Mills (11 career starts), Giants' Tyrod Taylor (53), Eagles' Gardner Minshew (22), Dolphins' Teddy Bridgewater (63), Steelers' Kenny Pickett (2021 first-round draft pick) and Seahawks' Drew Lock (21).
Huntley led the Ravens to a dramatic, come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bears in his first career start last year, and he nearly brought the Ravens all the way back from a 21-point deficit against the Cleveland Browns in relief of Jackson.
With the Ravens decimated by injuries on both sides of the ball, Huntley had the team in position to upset the Green Bay Packers and Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams before coming up one point short in both games.
"He showed a little bit of a clutch gene the way he played in the Packers and Rams games," Simms said. "He certainly wasn't afraid of the big lights and the moment."
Colin Cowherd Predicts Ravens Third, Steelers Second in AFC North
With the draft completed and the schedule unveiled, Fox Sports Radio's Colin Cowherd updated his predictions for the NFL standings.
In his original predictions, he had the Bengals winning the AFC North, followed by the Ravens, Steelers and Browns. He now has the Ravens finishing third.
"I have flipped the Ravens and Steelers," Cowherd said. "Why? Hollywood Brown got moved. I do not like Baltimore's early schedule. In a five-week period, late September to late October, they go to New England and then face Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson and Tom Brady. They also end the season at Joe Burrow and they face Denver. Pittsburgh doesn't face Denver. Yes, they face [Bill] Belichick and Brady early, both at home. … Also like the Steelers' draft."
Interestingly, Cowherd didn't say anything about the Ravens' draft, which has been universally praised.
This is a far cry from 2020, when Cowherd said he thought the Ravens could go 16-0. Hopefully he's wrong again.