AFC Notes: Joe Burrow, Kenny Pickett, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


Sunday’s 24-3 loss to the Browns was literally the worst game of Bengals QB Joe Burrow‘s NFL career, as he was held to a mere 82 yards passing. However, Bengals OC Brian Callahan shot down the idea that Burrow was rusty because he missed all but a handful of practices during the preseason because of a calf injury. 

“I did not feel that way going into the game (of needing more work),” Callahan said via Geoff Hobson of the team website. “I did not feel like we were off in any way, shape, or form leading up to the game. In practices and then in the game. I do think the weather threw it off quite a bit. Not to make an excuse for it, but I think that was a large part of it.”

Bengals HC Zac Taylor echoed the issues with the weather, calling it “probably the biggest rain game I’ve been a part of in 10 years.” Whether it was the weather or rust, Burrow and the Bengals had a lot of issues connecting on their normal deep passing attempts in the loss to the Browns. 

“I think that at the end of the day, those guys are going to connect on a whole lot more balls than they’re going to miss,” Callahan said. “We’re going to load … up and fire away again. We’ve played really well playing that style when we’ve been given those opportunities. Yesterday didn’t work out as well as it has. We’re not going to throw it all away just because we were off on two or three throws in tough conditions.”


Once again, it seems like the Ravens are snakebitten with injuries. The team was already missing CB Marlon Humphrey and TE Mark Andrews going into Week 1, then lost RB J.K. Dobbins, S Marcus Williams, C Tyler Linderbaum and LT Ronnie Stanley during the game. Dobbins is out for the year, Williams will miss a major chunk of time and all of those players could be out in Week 2 against the Bengals. That doesn’t change the need for the team to get a win, though. 

“It’s no excuses,” Ravens QB Lamar Jackson said via Clifton Brown of the team’s website. “We all have guys in the NFL that are getting paid to bust their behinds, so it is what it is. It’s tough just because they’re key players, but we have guys that are going to step up and lead us out there on that field and do what they’re supposed to do.”


Steelers QB Kenny Pickett offered his take on what went wrong for Pittsburgh in Week 1’s blowout loss to the 49ers, saying he thought the team had a good plan going in, they just didn’t play well. 

“I wouldn’t say it was too much [a need for] adjusting; we just didn’t play well,” Pickett said via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We didn’t execute it near what we need to be. So, you know, keep the preparation the same. I thought the preparation for the week was good. Just about going out there, playing well and executing. . . . I was good with my decisions. It was just throwing and the execution.”

  • Steelers WR Diontae Johnson will miss up to four weeks with a hamstring injury. (Gerry Dulac)
  • Johnson spoke on Thursday and said there’s no concrete timeline for his return, characterizing things as “day-to-day.” He said he wasn’t really able to walk the first few days after the injury but has been feeling better recently. (Brooke Pryor)

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