There must be some sort of Bengals tie in there somewhere, right?
This Sunday at 3 p.m. on Cincinnati’s Local 12, the AFC Divisional will be played in Buffalo, and the Bengals will be led by veteran backup quarterback Jordan Palmer, who has thrown for 11 NFL completions over the course of seven seasons but has used his whip smarts to become a sort of quarterback whisperer to the elite.
Buffalo’s Josh Allen bought a house down the street from him in Southern California in between working out with him, and he helped prepare Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow for the draft and continues to work with him occasionally in the spring and summer.
These men are as sturdy as trees. Palmer claims this week that the only two possible outcomes for the plants are continued growth or extinction. “There are those that develop at a quicker rate than the rest.
Both of these individuals play the game in their own unique ways, but you can state with certainty that they are light years ahead of the rest of the pack in terms of development. Those dudes are quite impressive, especially given their young age. They’ve also shown to be reliable in the past.
They’re two Redwoods, to use a common name.
Burrow, a 6-3, 215-pound rooftop sniper in the pocket who can can do damage on the move, comes first. An Olympic gold medalist in biathlon.
Burrow has a chance to make history on Sunday in the most important game of his third season by becoming the youngest quarterback ever (at age 26 or under) to win five postseason games if he wins.
Both Burrow and Terry Bradshaw, who also has four Super Bowl rings, are rare examples of success in the sport. Burrow needs one more victory to reach the elite company of quarterbacks Russell Wilson (six) and Ben Roethlisberger (five) in winning at least five playoff games in their first three seasons as starters.
And with this streak, Burrow joins an elite club of just seven quarterbacks in the Super Bowl history who have won 12 consecutive starts in the months of December and January.
Also, it’s common knowledge among Cincinnati’s schoolchildren that Burrow and future Hall of Famer Dan Marino are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to record at least 10 victories and 30 touchdown passes in each of their first two seasons.
Then there is Allen, the 6’5″ 247-pound prototypical quarterback of the twenty-first century, whose right wing is damn near nuclear and whose legs are as lethal as his arm.
A former teammate of his, Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson, watched him toss it 70 yards while standing still when playing for Wyoming. A defensive coach for the Bengals compared Allen to Travis Kelce, a tight end in the Chiefs’ hall of fame who can also chuck the ball.
In four of his seven postseason appearances, Allen has paced the Bills in both passing and rushing yards. For their respective teams, only Steve Young and Russell Wilson have done more.
By far the most by any player in NFL history with at least five playoff games played, Allen is averaging 354 yards per game on offense. During the fourth quarter of postseason games, he has a passer rating of 105, which is third highest in the last 30 years.
Two men at the very top, as Palmer puts it. As the saying goes, “The best quarterbacks attack defenses and adjust and do it in multiple ways… Josh is one of the select few who truly excels in every area. Running. Driving it down the field, fast getting rid of it, spotting the pressure, and then passing the ball to the next player. Modifying the pocket.
Then you glance across to Joe. They differ in stature and velocity. Various shapes and sizes. Because of his pocket mobility, he also checks off a lot of boxes. His ability to maintain two-handed ball control is impressive. saving time by skipping unnecessary procedures.
And every year he’s improved his throwing. Powerful and pinpoint in its accuracy. He improves every year.
Palmer claims that the two are steadily improving. He thinks Burrow has made the biggest progress this year in terms of velocity and how quickly he can get rid of the ball and get back onto the field.
Palmer praises “how effective he is as a mover” and “how connected” he is. When he improved his connection to the earth and his ability to efficiently move around, he saw a boost in his speed. He was also a good student in school. He’s been on a roll recently, but he’s been good for a while. Generally speaking.”
Unfortunately, Palmer won’t be available on Sunday. He is currently advising so many quarterbacks that he almost wants to sit on the couch and watch the game in slow motion so he can skip through the defense.
I won’t be rating them. “I’m not going to play the hero and pick the winners,” Palmer declares. It’s not like playing a standard video game at all. I can’t choose which one to be happier about, so I’ll be excited about both.
FOLDS AND SCREEN: The Zac Taylor Bengals and the Sean McDermott-Josh Allen Bills played each other once, in the third game of the 2019 season, before Burrow was drafted. Buffalo gave the Bills a 21-17 victory on the road.
Allen, a sophomore, was quite dangerous with his 243 passing yards and touchdown, as well as his 46 rushing yards. Joe Mixon, a running back for the Bengals, racked up 94 total yards of offense and a touchdown on the day, while Frank Gore, a hero to kids in the Bay Area, rushed for 76 yards and a score.
If the Bengals are victorious on Sunday, several of their players will join Anthony Munoz, Reggie Williams, Cris Collinsworth, Max Montoya, and Jim Breech as the only Bengals to appear in five postseason games for the team.
Since 1950, this is the sixth postseason game between two quarterbacks who each enter the game riding an eight-game winning streak (including playoffs). Recently, Allen (8) and Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs faced off in the 2020 AFC Championship Game (11).
This is the very first time Burrow-Allen has faced off against a team from the same Division in the Divisional. The rest were either in the Super Bowl or their conference championship game.