It can be argued if Joe Burrow should be featured in Across The Shield. What cannot be argued is the record-breaking performance the one-time Buckeye had for the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
In the Bengals’ 41-21 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, Burrow completed 37 passes for 525 yards – the fourth-most in a single game in NFL history, bettering Boomer Esiason's previous franchise record of 490 yards.
Prior to the game, Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale said "I don't think we're ready to buy a gold jacket for Joe." Note to Don: In the future, don't say shit like that about Joe before playing him.
Burrow connected with Tee Higgins 12 times for 194 yards, a career-high for Higgins. Ja'Marr Chase, arguably Burrow's favorite target, had seven catches for 125 yards.
TEE HIGGINS MOSSED TWO RAVENS— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 26, 2021
When asked about throwing deep late in the game and up 20 points, Burrow replied, “We've been in spots where teams go out and do that to us. They did it to us last year. No sympathy from me.” Cold-blooded killer.
How good is this young offense? According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Bengals are the first team in NFL history to have a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers all 25 or younger in the same season.
Joe Burrow loves playing the Ravens pic.twitter.com/oLPCwyoFAj— PFF (@PFF) December 27, 2021
If Burrow could play the Ravens every game of the season, he'd finish with 7,999 yards and 60 touchdowns. To go along with all of the crazy offensive records, Cincinnati never punted during the thrashing of the Ravens on Sunday.
Dancing mascots, Joe Mixon selfies, C.J. Uzomah cameos, Joe Burrow's post-game interview for the @Bengals had it all— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) December 26, 2021
What the Bell?
How many interceptions does Vonn Bell have this season? For his career? It might surprise you that Bell secured his first interception of the season against the Ravens. Even more surprising, it's only the second interception of Bell's six-year NFL career and his first interception since 2019.
Vonn Bell, Vonn Bell, put the game away! Go inside the radio booth for @Vonn's game-clinching INT. @Pepsi | #RuleTheJungle pic.twitter.com/beT9KOkRCs— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 27, 2021
According to Pro Football Focus, Bell (88.9) and Eli Apple (72.5) were the Bengals’ highest-graded defenders in Sunday’s victory over the Ravens.
Ezekiel Elliott made the most of his 10 touches in the Dallas Cowboys' 56-14 humiliation of the Washington Football Team on Sunday Night Football, scoring two touchdowns in the first half.
Dak Prescott to a wide open Ezekiel Elliott for a Cowboys TD! #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/55EdwAZJNm— Pro Football Culture (@proftblculture) December 27, 2021
Three Washington Football Team defenders couldn't deny Elliott from scoring his second touchdown of the game.
ZEKE.— NFL (@NFL) December 27, 2021
Two first half TDs for @EzekielElliott has the @DallasCowboys up 28-7.
: #WASvsDAL on NBC
: https://t.co/RVn6kdfzlm pic.twitter.com/rtA7VBssPE
Monday night Buckeyes
The battle between the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints featured stellar play from three Ohio State defenders. Jerome Baker helped direct the Dolphins’ defense in limiting the Saints to three points. The linebacker recorded 1.5 sacks and had a scoop-and-score overturned by replay that nearly turned a 20-3 victory into a 27-3 win.
Jerome Baker!!! pic.twitter.com/Iez801sfDF— Los Dolphins MX (@LosDolphins_MX) December 28, 2021
On the other side, Pete Werner had a game-high 10 tackles and Marshon Lattimore intercepted his third pass of the season for the Saints.
Intercepted by the Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore! @shonrp2— NFL (@NFL) December 28, 2021
: #MIAvsNO on ESPN
: https://t.co/vO18DNaTaF pic.twitter.com/c6J4xU0LTp
Malcolm Jenkins also made news for not playing. For the first time since 2013, Jenkins did not start and did not play, ending his streak of playing in 133 consecutive games. He was one of 22 Saints on the reserve/COVID-19 list for Monday night’s loss.
Bosa gets doubled, finds trouble
The Tennessee Titans recognized the elite talent of Nick Bosa and used an extra tight end for the majority of Thursday's game. The strategy worked as Bosa did not record a sack for the first time since a 31-17 loss to Arizona on Nov. 7, ending a six-game sack streak.
The Comeback Player of the Year candidate still finished with three tackles, including this impressive tackle-for-loss on the Titans’ first offensive play of the game.
Nick Bosa showing up early— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) December 24, 2021
Bosa shared how the double teams frustrated him after the game.
“It was max-pro the whole game,” Bosa said. “We got to do a better job of figuring a way to counter it.”
The 49ers fell to 8-7 with their 20-17 loss to the Titans.
Christmas gift for Togiai
Tommy Togiai entered the Christmas Day matchup against the Green Bay Packers with only three tackles for the season. The only Buckeye to every hail from Idaho had a career-high five stops on Saturday. He also had his first pass breakup as an NFL player.
Still, the Browns lost 24-22 as Baker Mayfield channeled his inner Kris Kringle and gave the Packers four interceptions as gifts.
Fuller hits a hundred
Jordan Fuller was credited with five tackles in the Los Angeles Rams' 30-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, bringing him to 101 tackles over 14 games this season. It's the first time Fuller has cracked the century mark in his playing career. His high at Ohio State was 81 stops and he had 60 in his rookie season last year.
Man threw for 525 yards and 4 TDs and wore a Krusty Krab shirt to the podium. @JoeyB pic.twitter.com/QA2fpvWXCj— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) December 26, 2021
|PLAYER||POS||TEAM||WEEK 16 STATS||SEASON STATS|
|ELI APPLE||CB||BENGALS||5 tackles||45 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 INT, 9 PBU, 1 FR|
|DAMON ARNETTE||CB||DOLPHINS||Practice squad||4 tackles, 1 PBU|
|JEROME BAKER||LB||DOLPHINS||6 tackles, 1.5 sacks (13 yards), 2 TFL, 3 QBH||80 tackles, 4.5 sacks (42 yards), 8 TFL, 14 QBH, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FF|
|VONN BELL||S||BENGALS||5 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBU||92 tackles, 1 sack (12 yards), 5 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 INT, 7 PBU, 3 FF, 1 FR|
|TUF BORLAND||LB||VIKINGS||DNP||1 game played|
|JOEY BOSA||DE||CHARGERS||COVID-19||42 tackles, 9.5 sacks (58 yards), 4 TFL, 20 QBH, 6 FF|
|NICK BOSA||DE||49ERS||3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH||46 tackles, 15 sacks (118 yards), 19 TFL, 30 QBH, 1 PBU, 4 FF|
|NOAH BROWN||WR||COWBOYS||IR (groin)||14 catches, 157 yards|
|BARON BROWNING||LB||BRONCOS||9 tackles||53 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 PBU|
|PARRIS CAMPBELL||WR||COLTS||IR (foot)||10 catches, 162 yards, 1 TD|
|JONATHON COOPER||LB||BRONCOS||Played||32 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 TFL, 5 QBH, 1 FR|
|WYATT DAVIS||OG||VIKINGS||Played||6 games played|
|TAYLOR DECKER||OT||LIONS||Started at LT||7 starts|
|J.K. DOBBINS||RB||RAVENS||IR (knee)|
|NATE EBNER||DB||GIANTS||IR (knee)||2 tackles|
|PAT ELFLEIN||C||PANTHERS||COVID-19||7 starts|
|EZEKIEL ELLIOTT||RB||COWBOYS||9 rushes, 37 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 5 yards, 1 TD||210 rushes, 899 yards, 10 TD; 45 catches, 270 yards, 2 TDs|
|LUKE FARRELL||TE||JAGUARS||Played||6 catches, 49 yards|
|JUSTIN FIELDS||QB||BEARS||Inactive||159/270 passing, 1,870 yards, 7 TD, 10 INT; 63 rushes, 346 yards, 1 TD|
|JORDAN FULLER||S||RAMS||5 tackles||101 tackles, 2 TFL, 4 PBU|
|DaVON HAMILTON||DT||JAGUARS||5 tackles||35 tackles, 1 sack (12 yards), 2 TFL, 2 QBH, 2 PBU|
|JOHNATHAN HANKINS||DT||RAIDERS||Inactive||36 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 PBU|
|MALIK HARRISON||LB||RAVENS||1 tackle||22 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH|
|CAMERON HEYWARD||DT||STEELERS||6 tackles, 1 sack (4 yards), 1 TFL, 1 QBH||79 tackles, 8.0 sacks (52.5 yards), 7 TFL, 12 QBH, 1 INT, 6 PBU, 1 FF, 1 FR|
|JUSTIN HILLIARD||LB||GIANTS||IR (ankle)||2 games played|
|JALYN HOLMES||DE||SAINTS||COVID-19||14 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 PBU|
|MALIK HOOKER||S||COWBOYS||COVID-19||32 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU|
|SAM HUBBARD||DE||BENGALS||2 tackles, 1 FF||56 tackles, 7.5 sacks (32.0 yards), 11 TFL, 16 QBH, 3 PBU, 1 FF, 2 FR|
|CARLOS HYDE||RB||JAGUARS||IR (concussion)||72 rushes, 253 yards, 1 TD; 12 catches, 65 yards|
|JONAH JACKSON||OG||LIONS||Started at LG||14 starts|
|MALCOLM JENKINS||S||SAINTS||COVID-19||66 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 TD|
|CAMERON JOHNSTON||P||TEXANS||1 punt, 53 avg||76 punts, 46.9 avg, 32 inside 20|
|DRE'MONT JONES||DT||BRONCOS||2 tackles, 1 FR||30 tackles, 5.5 sacks (37.5 yards), 9 TFL, 10 QBH, 2 PBU, 2 FF, 1 FR|
|JAMARCO JONES||OT||SEAHAWKS||IR (back)||1 start, 7 games played|
|MICHAEL JORDAN||OG||PANTHERS||Started at LG||8 starts, 9 games played|
|MARSHON LATTIMORE||CB||SAINTS||3 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU||60 tackles, 3 INT, 18 PBU, 1 FR|
|TYQUAN LEWIS||DT||COLTS||IR (knee)||15 tackles, 2.5 sacks (3.5 yards), 3 TFL, 6 QBH, 1 INT, 2 PBU|
|COREY LINSLEY||C||CHARGERS||COVID-19||14 starts|
|TERRY McLAURIN||WR||WASHINGTON||3 catches, 40 yards||59 catches, 826 yards, 5 TD|
|RAEKWON McMILLAN||LB||PATRIOTS||IR (knee)|
|JAKE McQUAIDE||LS||COWBOYS||Played at LS||1 tackle|
|JOSH MYERS||C||PACKERS||IR (knee)||5 starts|
|ANDREW NORWELL||OL||JAGUARS||Started at LG||14 starts|
|JEFF OKUDAH||CB||LIONS||IR (leg)||4 tackles, 1 PBU|
|BILLY PRICE||C||GIANTS||Started at C||14 starts|
|ISAIAH PRINCE||OT||BENGALS||Started at RT||2 starts, 13 games played|
|BRADLEY ROBY||CB||SAINTS||1 tackle, 1 PBU||21 tackles, 1 sack (7 yards), 2 TFL, 3 QBH, 1 INT, 5 PBU|
|CURTIS SAMUEL||WR||WASHINGTON||Inactive||5 catches, 18 yards, 2 rushes, -1 yard|
|TREY SERMON||RB||49ERS||IR (ankle)||31 rushes, 136 yards; 1 catch, 23 yards; 1 FC, 2 tackles|
|KENDALL SHEFFIELD||CB||FALCONS||Played on special teams||7 games played|
|MICHAEL THOMAS||WR||SAINTS||PUP (ankle)|
|TOMMY TOGIAI||DT||BROWNS||5 tackles, 1 PBU||8 tackles, 0.5 sack, 1 QBH, 1 PBU|
|NICK VANNETT||TE||SAINTS||Started at TE||8 catches, 123 yards, 1 TD|
|SHAUN WADE||CB||PATRIOTS||Inactive||3 games played|
|DENZEL WARD||CB||BROWNS||4 tackles, 2 PBU||41 tackles, 0.5 sack (2 yards), 2 QBH, 2 INT, 10 PBU, 1 TD|
|PETE WERNER||LB||SAINTS||10 tackles||53 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 QBH|
|CHASE YOUNG||DE||WASHINGTON||IR (knee)||26 tackles, 2 sacks (7 yards), 4 TFL, 4 QBH, 1 PBU, 2 FF|