The great Doug Farrar took the liberty of finding the best quarterback in a variety of fashions for Touchdown Wire.
And lo and behold, Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow made the list.
Farrar listed Burrow as the best quarterback working without pre-snap motion:
“Burrow proved to be one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in his second (and first full) professional season, taking the Bengals to the Super Bowl despite an offensive line that was… well, offensive. And he didn’t need pre-snap motion to make it happen. Only Matthew Stafford had more passing touchdowns without motion (33) than Burrow’s 27, and Burrow threw eight interceptions to Stafford’s 10. Burrow completed 330 of 457 attempts for 4,126 yards, 2,183 air yards, and a league-high passer rating of 112.3. ”
Burrow also got the nod as the best without play-action, which as Farrar points out, is incredibly rare for a younger passer:
“Joe Burrow don’t need no stinkin’ pre-snap motion, and apparently, he don’t need no stinkin ’play-action, either. It’s very unusual for a young quarterback to throw aside two of the primary cheat codes for any quarterback and still excel, but Burrow is That Guy. One reason for this is the Bengals’ high rate of quick-game concepts; only Tom Brady (579) had more attempts of zero to three steps than Burrow’s 507. A specific reason for Burrow’s apparent distaste for play-action might be that he’s one of those quarterbacks who don’t like to turn his back to the defense, turn back around, and see a different spun coverage. ”
Not needing motion means, as Farrar alluded to, the Bengals can get creative with formations and Burrow doesn’t always need that pre-snap information that can be created from motion to know where he wants to go with the ball after the snap. Quite impressive for just a two-year NFL starter.