Multiple NFL writers, analysts, and insiders from ESPN made their bold predictions for the 2023 NFL season and several of them made the same prediction for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow emerged as one of the top players in the NFL over the last two seasons.
In 2022, the former LSU star proved that Cincinnati’s run to the Super Bowl in 2021 wasn’t a fluke.
The Bengals came up a game short of returning to the Super Bowl this past season, but their run to the AFC Championship game shows that the franchise has staying power.
And that’s mostly because of Burrow.
Sure, the Bengals have a great coaching staff in place (which head coach Zac Taylor has miraculously kept intact for the most part) and other great players like Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, but it’s Burrow that gives Cincinnati its magic.
So what’s next for Burrow? He’s entering his fourth year in the NFL in 2023. Where does he go from here?
At least four ESPN writers think the next stop for Burrow is an NFL MVP award.
ESPN writers Stephania Bell, Tristan Cockcroft, Matt Miller, and Field Yates all think Burrow wins the league MVP in 2023.
It’s rare for a player to repeat as MVP, so I’m going away from the obvious choice of Mahomes and looking at the second-best quarterback in the NFL. Burrow has the targets around him that Allen, Herbert and even Hurts might not have in 2023. With receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd all on board for another run, Burrow is a lock to be on the shortlist for MVP. — Matt Miller
Burrow is at that stage of his career where he’s now one of the veteran guys in the league. He’s not “the new guy” anymore. So it’s time for him to take that next step, which means either winning a league MVP or a Super Bowl (obviously, he’d prefer the Super Bowl).
That’s the way quarterbacks differentiate themselves from the rest of the league. Burrow is elite.
He has the talent and intangibles to be a Hall of Fame quarterback. But now he has to start stacking up accolades — the kind that Patrick Mahomes already has — to truly be on a Hall of Fame trajectory.
The assumption is that Burrow will receive a lucrative extension this offseason. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if that extension impacts his play in 2023. I don’t think it will, but you never truly know until the games are actually played.