Why Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals historic ATS run deserve extra consideration

1:30 p.m. ET

  • Kyle SoppeESPN

Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls carried society through the 1990s, the dynastic Patriots did the same through the early 2000s, and the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe did so through the 2010s. So who is capable of making the 2020s their decade? The Rock, TikTok, and medical-based stocks have all made strong arguments up to this point, but there’s a team led by a man who’s currently the leader, and no one seems willing to admit it.

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals won (and mated) at Foxborough on Christmas Eve and it seems they are just the gift that keeps on giving. Including last postseason, Cincy is now through 20 of 23 games, a streak about as dynastic as anything we’ve seen. The irony of burrow covering in the house Tom Brady built shouldn’t be lost. Brady had one of the best 23-game runs we’ve ever seen, leading the Patriots to a 22-1 mark that began in Week 2 of the 2003 season and extended through Week 4 of the following regular season. From an absolute standpoint, that dwarfs the Bengals’ current record (17-6), but even this New England team hasn’t managed to achieve the level of dominance against the spread that this Cincinnati team is in located:

Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots

Cover Kings downright ATS Home ATS avg cover average fav Above %
Bengal 17-6 20-3 8-1 3.5 1.6 31.8%
patriots 22-1 18-3-2 11-1 5.8 5 52.2%

Joe Burrow vs. Tom Brady

Cover Kings age at start Super Bowl run Super Bowl Passer Rating Yard/Comp during the run Pass the TD rate
Joe Burrow 25 Yes 101.0 11.4 5.9
Tom Brady 26 Yes 100.5 11.8 4.9

Pretty impressive stuff for orange and black. And remarkably similar profiles for their quarterbacks. That’s not to say Burrow is the next Brady or anything, but when it comes to a run of greatness, especially a run of greatness that exceeds expectations, what Joe Cool did with this Cincinnati team can do , just can’t be stressed enough.

Beginning in 2003, New England won their division for 16 straight seasons they had a healthy Brady, and they finished no better than fourth place in the three seasons before Brady took over under center. Burrow gave the Bengals a division title last season and is poised to be an AFC North champion again this year (the Bengals finished fourth in the three seasons prior to this current surge). For those keeping track, 2004 Brady’s Patriots won a Super Bowl … over a top-ranked Eagles team that averaged about eight yards QB per single opportunity (completions and rushes). Interesting.

What Cincinnati is doing is no longer cute or a nice story. It’s the story. A story almost 400 days old and still not getting the attention it deserves.

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