Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase prove that preseason doesn’t mean much

Minnesota Vikings At Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings At Cincinnati Bengals /

Former LSU football teammates Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase proved on Sunday that it’s not wise to put much stock into preseason action.

The current Cincinnati Bengals teammates didn’t have a smooth preseason.

Burrow didn’t see much action while rehabbing from the ACL injury he suffered last season.

And Chase, the No. 5 overall pick by the Bengals in the 2021 NFL Draft, struggled with drops.

Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase help lead the Bengals to a season-opening win

On Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati, Burrow and Chase looked just like they did at LSU in 2019 when the duo put up historic numbers while leading the Tigers to a national championship win.

Burrow passed for 261 yards and two touchdowns on 20 of 27 passing, while Chase caught five passes (on seven targets) for 101 yards and a touchdown. The Bengals beat the Vikings 27-24 in overtime.

That’s exactly what the Bengals were expecting when they selected Chase in the 2021 NFL Draft to pair with Burrow.

The combination of Burrow and Chase likely opened up other elements of the Bengals’ offense, too.

Running back Joe Mixon rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown behind a beleaguered Cincinnati offensive line.

Based on preseason play alone, I wouldn’t have expected that type of performance from Burrow and Chase on Sunday. It’s not that I was down on either of them — I just figured it would take them some time to really find their groove again. I never believed that Chase’s issues with drops would be a long-term issue, but I thought it was an issue that might linger into the 2021 season.

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But that’s why making snap judgments based on preseason action isn’t smart. Burrow and Chase are going to be an elite combination in the NFL for a long time.