Joe Burrow carries the hopes and dreams of an entire city on his shoulders, and he's having to do it on a surgically repaired knee. So far, so good.
Burrow suffered a torn ACL and MCL halfway through last season that put his immediate NFL future — and the fate of the entire Cincinnati franchise — in question. But in his first half back from injury, Burrow gave Bengals fans reason to hope again ... at least for a moment.
Burrow went 11 of 13 for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of Sunday's game against Minnesota. His first TD was a short-yardage target to Tee Higgins for two yards with just under two minutes left in the half.
It got even better. After forcing the Vikings into a quick three-and-out, Burrow found his old LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase for a 50-yard strike that marked Chase's first NFL touchdown.
Much more to come for both Burrow and Cincinnati, but this start is about as good as everyone involved could have hoped.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at email@example.com.