Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow reached the 300-yard passing mark for the third consecutive game Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars – becoming the first rookie in NFL history to do so.
Burrow’s milestone came on a 23-yard pass to fellow rookie Tee Higgins early in the fourth quarter of the Bengals’ 33-25 win.
“He’s not a rookie,” head coach Zac Taylor said. “I don’t even think about that because it doesn’t feel like he’s a rookie and he doesn’t act like he’s a rookie. He’s in command, and guys believe in him. Those guys around him are really stepping up, and he’s becoming a real leader on this football team.”
Burrow completed 69.4 percent of his passes, and Joe Mixon finished with a season-high 151 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
“We feel a lot of momentum right now, and we’re excited about where we are,” Burrow said. “Obviously there are some things to correct, but we had a great week of practice this week, and I think that’s why we won the game.”
Social media reactions:
Joe Burrow just became the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 300+ yards in three straight games.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 4, 2020
Joe Burrow’s now passed for over 300 yards in three-straight games #Bengals
— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) October 4, 2020
Bengals & Burrow look good…
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) October 4, 2020
This rookie connection… https://t.co/6gLvMdO7w2
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 4, 2020
Joe Burrow with a nice ball to Tee Higgins. Should expect to hear that often for years to come. pic.twitter.com/UEI7Is6uC4
— Evan McPhillips (@emcphil) October 4, 2020
Two things @JoeyB is FANTASTIC. Just a pure seasoned pro already
My favorite thing about him right now is he never stays down. Never stay on the ground. Gets knocked down-pops right up. Absolute stud for the @Bengals
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) October 4, 2020
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It took until the third quarter for the Bengals offense to connect for an explosive touchdown.
With five minutes left in the first quarter, Burrow threw on the run and found wide receiver Tyler Boyd for a contested catch in the back of the end zone, but that play was called back because of a holding penalty on center Trey Hopkins.
Then with nine minutes left in the second quarter, Burrow threw a goal-line pass to tight end Drew Sample. The ball was right on target, but Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack ripped the ball out of Sample’s arms.
Those two plays meant the Bengals left 10 points on the table in the first half. As a result, Jacksonville led the Bengals 13-10 at halftime.
That’s when the game turned in the Bengals’ favor.
“We just started playing complementary football,” Taylor said. “Our offense started the half scoring, that’s a big thing for us to come out of the gate and score. And then for the defense to immediately get a stop… You get a chance to start to build that lead, that’s not something we’ve had the opportunity to do very much.”
Even though it started raining after halftime, Cincinnati’s offense had its best third quarter of the season. After receiving the kickoff at the start of the third quarter, the Bengals established the run on a five-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
Mixon and running back Giovani Bernard accounted for all but 12 yards on the scoring drive. With 12:37 left in the third quarter, Mixon ran behind the right side of the Bengals offensive line for a 34-yard touchdown that gave the Bengals their first lead of the second half.
Four minutes later, Mixon followed a great block from right guard Alex Redmond, and Mixon went untouched as he ran up the middle of the field for a 23-yard score. Burrow said the offensive linemen deserve some recognition.
“They’ve taken a lot of heat the last couple weeks, and I super happy for those guys to have the game they did today,” Burrow said. “They’re going to continue to build on it, I know they are.”
After the second score, Mixon cupped his hand to his ear as the 6,243 Bengals fans in the crowd shouted, “Who Dey.”
For the first time all season, the Bengals had momentum and fans to celebrate it with.
“These past couple of weeks have been a little tough,” Mixon said. “But the thing was, nobody was noticing we were so close. It’s always one block away, one play away. We were able to execute those things today.”
Mixon’s second touchdown run gave the Bengals a 24-13 lead in the third quarter. Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew led two consecutive scoring drives, and the Jaguars eventually cut their deficit down to 8 points with six minutes left in the game.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Joe Burrow becomes first NFL rookie with third consecutive 300-yard game