Five Reasons Why Joe Burrow Is A Better Quarterback Than Patrick Mahomes | “The Model For What Quarterbacks Should Be In The Future”

Five reasons why Joe Burrow is better than Patrick Mahomes.
Patrick Mahomes has never beaten Joe Burrow. (Youtube Screenshot/33rd Team)

The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in the AFC divisional playoff round to set up a rematch of last year’s AFC title game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals are red hot, winners of 10 straight and led by third-year QB Joe Burrow.

Burrow will face Patrick Mahomes for the fourth time in his career and is looking to improve to 4-0 against him. Is Burrow better than Mahomes?

ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky said, “Joe Burrow is the best quarterback in the league.” Orlovsky also implied that Burrow is a smarter quarterback and called him “the model for what quarterbacks should be in the future,” Monday on the network’s morning programming.

Here are five reasons that might suggest Burrow is better.


Burrow is the only QB to face Mahomes multiple times and be undefeated (3-0) in head-to-head matchups (including playoffs). Burrow joined Tom Brady (3-3) as the only QBs to defeat Mahomes at least three times. Burrow’s 121.0 passer rating versus Mahomes is the best among 16 QBs to face him multiple times.


This is nothing that you can actually measure, and Mahomes is supremely confident. He tweeted an alarm clock emoji not too long after the Bengals win.

But Burrow seems to have a little extra edge with his. Will that translate into another victory next Sunday? Who knows. But given that he’s already won in Kansas City last year in the AFC title game, you have to believe Burrow is confident.

“The window’s my whole career,” Burrow said after the Week 18 win over the Baltimore Ravens. “Everybody that we have in that locker room, all the coaches we have, things are going to change year-to-year, but our window is always open.”

Burrow also had a great response to CBS’ Tracy Wolfson asking him about the people who planned on a Bills vs. Chiefs neutral site championship game.

Burrow Is More Accurate 

We’re splitting hairs here. Burrow has a 68.2 percent career completion rate, including leading the league last season at 70 percent. Mahomes has a career 66 percent completion rate.

Mahomes often goes for spectacular plays which are difficult to pull off, even for him. That causes incompletions and brings his percentage down a bit.

Mahomes Is Not THAT Much Better Than Burrow At Off-Script Plays

Mahomes is the king in this category, but he’s better at it than every other quarterback in the league by a wide margin, except Burrow. He’s only slightly better than Burrow here.

Burrow led the NFL in EPA per dropback on passes and sacks when he scrambled this season. On a per-play basis, he’s the most efficient QB in the league when he scrambles outside the pocket and chooses to pass. He led the league in passer rating on throws outside of the pocket.

Again, Mahomes does this more frequently and goes for bigger plays, which explains the subtle difference. In a tight playoff game where possessions are critical this could be the difference.

Cool Under Pressure

Burrow performs in big games. This dates back to winning the national championship at LSU. The bigger the game, the better he plays. He out-dueled Mahomes in last year’s AFC title game and did not throw the crucial pick Mahomes did.

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If you’re starting a franchise today and you choose Mahomes as your guy, you’re going to win a lot of games and be in the mix to win a championship every year. Mahomes has proved that, advancing to at least the AFC championship game every year in his career. Add in two Super Bowl appearances and a win and that’s pretty impressive.

Burrow was injured during week 11 of his rookie season and the team wasn’t good and didn’t make the playoffs. Last year he led the Bengals to the Super Bowl and they are back in the AFC title game this year. Selecting Burrow doesn’t seem to be a bad bet either.