The Cincinnati Bengals are headed into their biggest game since the turn of the century against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship. A big reason this team is in that position is quarterback Joe Burrow stepping up in his second season with the team.
It is clear — from the free agents who have come in stating Cincinnati’s quarterback was their biggest reason for coming to town to a team leader like C.J. Uzomah referring to him as “Franchise” when talking about him publicly — that the players on this team have all the confidence in the world in Burrow to lead this team.
Now, the former-Heisman winning quarterback is making it clear that trust goes both ways after the team’s latest clutch win.
“We’ve got great players that it really, really matters to—this is the life of everybody in that locker room,” Burrow told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “Everyone works really hard to put themselves in that moment and take advantage of those opportunities. Those are the kind of guys we have.
“Everybody at this level is capable of making plays like that, but I don’t think everybody’s capable of making plays in that moment.”
Between players like cornerback Eli Apple and Logan Wilson combining to create a turnover with under a minute left in regulation, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase running a picture-perfect route to set up a field goal, and kicker Evan McPherson crushing a 52-yard field goal in the most crucial of situations, this team has shown these playoff moments aren’t too big for them.
Burrow will obviously receive the majority of the credit due to the nature of the NFL. He is very much the face of the franchise, and the team knows and celebrates that. However, you can attribute more than a little bit of the fantastic, unselfish culture that has been put together in Cincinnati to the fact Burrow is more than willing to throw all the credit back on his teammates when things are good.
There have been so many times where Burrow wouldn’t be able to do what he has done this season in clutch situations without the defense creating stops or turnovers, McPherson nailing his kicks or the receivers making their plays. We love to celebrate the quarterback, but this entire team deserves this praise. Burrow is just helping make sure that attention gets redirected properly.
SH TERS SH T— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 24, 2022
: AFC Championship Game - 1/30 on CBS pic.twitter.com/cpq0D3wGrj