Joe Burrow Sets NFL Records With 37 Completions, 61 Pass Attempts in Second Career Start


Joe Burrow never exceeded 50 pass attempts in a college game, though he threw more than most quarterbacks. In fact, he led the entire SEC with 527 pass attempts in 2019, capped off by a career-high 49 throws in the CFB Championship against Clemson.

Fun fact: Jay Cutler is the record holder for most passing attempts in an SEC game (since 2000, which is when the data goes back to) with 66 in a 2005 game.

On Thursday night, Burrow almost hit Cutler's SEC-record figure in just his second career NFL start. Playing from behind against the Cleveland Browns for most of the contest, the game script dictated that Burrow would be throwing the ball a ton, and head coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan were more than willing to let their No. 1 overall draft pick assume that responsibility.

Burrow attempted a whopping 61 passes, the highest amount a quarterback has ever attempted within his first two career starts, which is three more than the next closest name on the list. The top ten is as follows (via Pro Football Reference).

Query Results Table
Rk Player Pos Date Tm Cmp Att Yds TD Int
1Joe Burrow QB2020-09-17CIN376131630
2Jay Schroeder1985-12-01WAS305834802
3Sam Bradford QB2010-09-12STL325525313
4Kyler Murray QB2019-09-08ARI295430821
5Eric Zeier1995-11-05CLE285427313
6Jack Trudeau1986-09-28IND215323311
7Ryan LindleyQB2012-11-25ARI315231204
8Billy Joe Tolliver1989-12-03SDG245123012
9Josh JohnsonQB2009-10-11TAM265024023
10Drew Bledsoe1993-09-12NWE284923911
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 9/18/2020.

It was the second most attempts ever from a rookie quarterback, trailing only Chris Weinke, who threw the ball 63 times in a 2001 start.

Those pass attempts didn't go completely unanswered. He set another NFL record with 37 completions, the most in a single game not only within a quarterback's first two starts but by any rookie quarterback, breaking the old record of 36 completions that was co-held by the aforementioned Weinke, Marc Bulger and Carson Wentz.

Here's the top ten (via Pro Football Reference).

Query Results Table
Rk Player Lg Tm Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int
1Joe Burrow NFLCIN376160.6631630
2Marc BulgerNFLSTL364875.0045340
3Chris WeinkeNFLCAR366357.1422311
4Carson Wentz NFLPHI366060.0030813
5Dieter Brock NFLRAM355168.6334423
6Derek CarrNFLOAK345462.9632810
7Jeff GarciaNFLSFO334967.3543731
8Blake Bortles NFLJAX324669.5733611
9Sam Bradford NFLSTL325558.1825313
10Nick FolesNFLPHI324866.6734511
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 9/18/2020.

Unfortunately for Burrow, those 61 throws didn't come as part of a win, as the Bengals defense struggled to contain the unstoppable duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the Browns' backfield, allowing 215 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

It's part of a rude awakening for Burrow, who is now 0-2 in his NFL career after dominating the entire college football landscape with LSU.

It wasn't entirely his fault, though. In fact, it wasn't his fault for the most part. His offensive line is largely to blame, as Burrow was hit a ton and didn't have much time to react. Speaking of another rude awakening...

A guy who probably feels the same way? Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who will be Burrow's next opponent when the two teams face off on September 27 in Week 3.

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