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Joe Burrow Gives Himself 'D' Grade for Bengals Debut in Loss to Chargers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2020

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) looks on during warm ups prior to a NFL football game against Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)
Emilee Chinn/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Joe Burrow is a tough self-evaluator.

Burrow told reporters after Sunday's 16-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers he deserved a "D" grade for his performance, citing one incomplete pass to A.J. Green that would've been a touchdown if it had found the mark.

The defining image from Burrow's debut will be his meme-worthy reaction to Randy Bullock missing the game-tying field goal.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Bengals kicker missed a game-tying FG 😬 @brgridiron https://t.co/N3O4IqDkdZ

The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner didn't post gaudy numbers, going 23-of-36 for 193 yards and one interception.

A learning curve is to be expected, though. The COVID-19 pandemic denied Burrow a traditional training camp and preseason, which would've better acclimatized him to the NFL. His interception in the fourth quarter was the kind of thing he might have pulled off in college but can't get away with now.

Los Angeles Chargers @Chargers

"thank you" - king mel probs @MelvinIngram | #BoltUp https://t.co/gaMvfFfnmX

Cincinnati's offensive line, shaping up to be one of the worst in the NFL, did Burrow few favors, too.

Ben Baby @Ben_Baby

Chagers with 3 QB pressures on 8 Burrow dropbacks, per NFL Next Gen. Bengals' offensive line struggling early.

Burrow did well to lead the offense down the field and into position to force overtime, especially since it was the Bengals' first drive after his turnover. One loss certainly won't be enough to shake the fanbase's belief in the No. 1 overall draft pick.

Brighter days are ahead for Burrow and the Bengals. Sunday's defeat showed there's probably still plenty of heartache ahead before the franchise turns the corner.

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