Bengals' Joe Burrow Compared to 'Young Tom Brady' by Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2021

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 21: Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo during an NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs on Nov 21, 2021 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo isn't making the mistake of downplaying Joe Burrow's talents.

Ahead of Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Spagnuolo told reporters that in Burrow he sees "a young Tom Brady."

Ahead of a Week 16 matchup against Cincinnati, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale contrasted game-planning against Burrow and Aaron Rodgers. He said Rodgers was a future Hall of Famer, but that "I don't think we're ready to buy a gold jacket for Joe yet."

The second-year quarterback responded by throwing for 525 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-21 win. After the game, Burrow alluded to how Martindale gave him a little added motivation:

Kelsey Conway @KelseyLConway

Joe Burrow acknowledging he saw the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ravens?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ravens</a> DC Wink Martindale’s comment about Burrow not being of the quality of Aaron Rodgers to deserve the type of game plan the Ravens gave the Packers, said it might have been on his mind when dropping 500 yards today <a href="https://t.co/aJVAudEwMU">pic.twitter.com/aJVAudEwMU</a>

It was another outstanding performance from the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner, who has thrown for 4,165 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing 69.9 percent of his passes this season.

Whether intentional or not, Spagnuolo isn't making the same mistake as Martindale. By favorably comparing Burrow to the greatest of all time, maybe the 25-year-old becomes so flattered he can't bring himself to shred the Chiefs secondary.

The Bengals are a five-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook despite playing at home in Week 17. That says less about Cincinnati and more about Kansas City, which is riding an eight-game winning streak and looking like the best team in the NFL.

In 2003, the Bengals earned an upset over the previously unbeaten Chiefs, a result that symbolized a turning point for the franchise under head coach Marvin Lewis.

Taking down Kansas City this time around could have the same effect because the future is once again bright in Southwest Ohio with Burrow at the helm.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or call or text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789 (TN).

21+. NJ/PA/WV/IN/IA/CO/IL/TN only. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.