The game has the potential to become the 22nd time since 1970 in which the No. 1 overall pick (Burrow) squares off with the No. 2 selection (Young) in their rookie seasons, according to NFL Research.
Buoyed also by the potentially larger storyline of Burrow going against Washington signal-caller Dwayne Haskins, the latter having won the Buckeyes’ starting job and brought about Burrow’s transfer, the game could be the first time the top-two picks of the draft have squared off since … well, last year. That’s when 2019 No. 2 pick Nick Bosa‘s Super Bowl-bound San Francisco squad defeated No. 1 Kyler Murray‘s Arizona club on two occasions.
Who does No. 2 work for? The victor, as history would have it.
With Bosa and the Niners’ wins, the No. 2 overall pick is 14-7 in the 21 aforementioned meetings and 6-1 across the last seven, per NFL Research.
Not since Week 1 of the 2013 season when No. 1 Eric Fisher‘s Chiefs downed No. 2 Luke Joeckel’s Jaguars has the No. 1-backed squad prevailed. That matchup was hardly as ballyhooed as this one will likely be provided both are healthy and have earned starting or prominent roles.
Further in Young’s (and the Redskins‘) favor is that since 1970, there have been five instances in which a quarterback and defensive player have been the top selections and then gone head-to-head.
Per the great folks at NFL Research, the No. 2 selection (Packers DT Mike McCoy in 1970; Lions DT Ndamukong Suh in 2010, Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky in 2017 and Bosa) have won all five versus the No. 1 (Steelers‘ Terry Bradshaw, Rams‘ Sam Bradford, Browns‘ Myles Garrett and Murray).
Then again, it’s been quite some time since the Redskins defeated the Bengals. When last the teams played in 2016, it ended in a 27-27 tie. Prior to that, Cincy won three in a row. Thus, the Redskins are winless in their last four outings against the Bengals with their last win all the way back in 1991.
History favors the No. 2 selection and the Bengals, so something’s bound to change. Either way, the 2020 schedule is yet to be released, but there’s already a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup to hope to see.