It was directly after the Cincinnati Bengals’ Week 4 win last year when Joe Burrow preached to his team that they will start “stacking these games.” A trip to the Super Bowl should validate the truth in that prediction.
Ted Karras is eyeing something similar a year later.
Following two wins in five days, the Bengals are primed to take the AFC North lead with a win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, and four more games will follow until the bye week, this portion of the year is where the veteran center wants to stack some Ws.
“Two wins means nothing, but it’s a good start,” Karras told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “Now the division is even up after a fortuitous weekend in our division. Now it’s just a race. I kind of segment the season. We’ve got six weeks to the bye. I’d like to go on a little run.”
A little run in Karras’ mind would mean a 7-2 start, since there are actually five weeks to the bye, not six. It would include wins over three NFC South teams not named the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cleveland Browns, who are still playing without their starting quarterback, and the Ravens on Sunday.
That’s entirely plausible. Far from easy, but plausible nonetheless.
Karras has only known winning in his NFL career. He’s the owner of two Super Bowl rings from his time with the New England Patriots, and was a part of the 10-6 Miami Dolphins squad from 2020. He’s never been on a losing team. Odds are he doesn’t want to start now.
The Bengals, on the other hand, haven’t experienced back-to-back winning seasons since 2014-15. It takes leaders like Karras to solidify winning cultures, and Karras’ attitude towards stacking wins is nothing short of contagious.
We’ll see if it spreads.