Bengals' Joe Burrow sets mark with 5th 400-yard game in 3 years

CINCINNATI -- Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow just grinned and had little to say after he was informed about collecting yet another record in his young career.

In Sunday's 35-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons, Burrow became the first player in NFL history to have five games of 400 or more passing yards in the first three years of his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. He was 34-of-42 passing for 481 yards and three touchdowns, with much of that damage coming in the first half.

"When he gets in a rhythm, watch out," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. "Because it's tough to stop."

Burrow previously held the record with Dan Marino, a Pro Football Hall of Famer. Had Cincinnati needed to be more aggressive, Burrow might have had a shot of breaking his franchise record of 525 passing yards, which he had in last year's win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16.

"I'm feeling comfortable," Burrow said after the game. "We're getting the timing down. We're starting to find a rhythm as an offense."

Nearly three months removed from an emergency appendectomy before the start of training camp in July, Burrow dazzled in one of his best performances of the season. The Bengals torched a depleted Falcons secondary and scored touchdowns on their first four drives.

Bengals wide receivers Tyler Boyd and Ja'Marr Chase became the third duo in the past 15 years to each have 100 or more receiving yards in the first half.

During one stretch in the first half, Burrow had 17 straight completions, a streak that ended as the Bengals pushed for one more touchdown before halftime. The top overall pick of 2020 was effective on the ground, too. He had two carries for 21 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins came 7 yards shy of joining Boyd and Chase with 100-yard games. Higgins said he knew it was going to be one of those days for Cincinnati's star quarterback as soon as Burrow completed his first pass attempt, a quick 11-yard completion to Boyd.

"Joe Burrow was on point today," Higgins said. "He was throwing dots, dimes, whatever y'all call it. He was feeling it."

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said the team tried to give several different looks to fluster Burrow. The visitors tried to simulate some pressure looks to throw Burrow off. But the third-year player consistently found the defense's soft spots to find completions.

"[There is] no defense in the league, or whatever you do, that can stop what we got," Boyd said. "We got a great quarterback that can always make the right read every single time and make our jobs easy."

Boyd, who had a career-high 155 receiving yards, said even when the team struggled in an 0-2 start to the season, Burrow was playing well. Once the Bengals adjusted to how defenses wanted to stop them and Burrow found his rhythm, it was going to be hard for teams to limit Cincinnati's offense.

After a rough start to the season, the Bengals have tallied 65 points in the past two games and scored nine touchdowns during that span. Burrow has accounted for eight of those scores.

Said Burrow: "I think we're finding our stride."