Oompa Loompa doompadee doo. My buddy and I looked at these silly looking dwarves singing and making candy. Then we looked at each other. Then we looked at the dwarves. Shrugging our shoulders, we went back to stuffing ourselves with the sugary delictables yearning to be eaten. We were in heaven. But then….BAM! BOOM! POW! CRASH! The Loopmas scurried away as the house of heaven came crashing down to earth. After the dust had settled, and we were rudely brought back to reality from our sugar high, it hit us. No more candy. No more heaven. Only pain. That is what happened to Bengals and Joe Burrow fans on Sunday, as he suffered a brutal knee injury, ending his season. Sigh. Now, it’s Ryan Finley time. siiiiiiigggghhhhhh. What can we expect?
Finley is 25 years old, 6′ 4″, and 207 pounds. He played his college ball at NC State and was selected by the Bengals with the 104th pick (4th round) in the 2019 NFL Draft. During his senior year in college, Finley completed 67.4% of his passes for 3,928 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The PlayerProfiler page has Finley running a 4.73 40-yard dash with average burst and agility scores. The throwing velocity is in the 24th percentile, but he was in the 98th percentile for the Wonderlic. The ability to make smart decisions and go through progressions is why the Bengals eschewed more physically talented quarterbacks….cough….Jeff Driskel….cough.
After replacing Burrow on Sunday, Finley went 3-for-10 for 30 yards and an interception. yipee. Last season, Finley started three games and:
In those three games, Finley threw most of his passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Only 11 total passes went over 15 yards, and a mere three passes were chucked over 20 yards. Defenses compressed down and cornerbacks just squatted on routes. In Week 9 against the Ravens, that’s exactly what happened when Marcus Peters took a short out route to the house.
Finley doesn’t possess the arm strength to scare defenses deep and the Bengals offensive line wouldn’t provide enough time even if he did. Entering Sunday, Joe Burrow had taken 72 hits and been sacked 32 times.
Let’s take a look at the remaining schedule for the Bengals.
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The matchup against the Steelers is obviously going to be a painful one. Going up against the Dolphins in Miami will be tough as well. The other three are good matchups, but, outside of the Cowboys, the Giants and Texans do have decent adjusted sack rates. With that said, unless he starts stretching defenses vertically, they will just continue to squeeze and take away his comfort zone.
Take care, Joe. You will be missed.