Bengals' Joe Burrow Sacked 70 Times in 2021-2022 Season, 3rd-most in NFL History

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 14, 2022

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) tackles Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. The Los Angeles Rams won 23-20. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The Cincinnati Bengals' top priority this offseason as they attempt to repeat their AFC championship? Protect Joe Burrow.

The Bengals quarterback was sacked seven times in Cincinnati's Super Bowl LVI loss to the Los Angeles Rams, bringing him to 70 total sacks on the season. That is the third-highest total in NFL history behind David Carr (2002) and Randall Cunningham (1986).

Burrow looked worse for wear as Sunday's game went along, hobbling off the field in the second half after taking a hit to his knee. While he remained in the game, it was clear Burrow wasn't 100 percent the rest of the way as the Rams came back for a 23-20 victory.

The Bengals' offensive line troubles are no secret. Their porous front five led to Burrow taking a constant barrage of hits during his rookie season, which ended when he suffered a torn ACL. Things weren't much better in 2021, when Burrow was sacked an NFL-high 51 times in the regular season before adding 19 more in the playoffs.

This, of course, was a conscious decision—both by the Bengals and Burrow. Cincinnati had the option to take one of two can't-miss tackle prospects, Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater, with the No. 5 overall pick in last April's draft. The team instead added Ja'Marr Chase, doing so at Burrow's behest.

While few would argue they made the wrong decision, don't be surprised if the Bengals spend hard and heavy in free agency to keep Burrow upright in 2022.