The Cincinnati Bengals are going to the playoffs after capturing an AFC North Title against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Find everyone who said the Cincinnati Bengals should have drafted Penei Sewell over Ja’Marr Chase, gather them, and line them up side by side.
Look them in the eye and let them know that in a game where a win would decide the division, the rookie wide receiver would catch eleven passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-31 victory.
You will hear crickets, or you may listen to those folks choosing to engage in revisionist history. Whatever the story is, it doesn’t matter. It’s about Joe Burrow and his buddies. Oh, and Burrow? He tossed for 446 yards as Cincinnati clinched the AFC North for the first time since 2015.
Burrow is going to need better protection. There is no denying that. However, when a man who has resilience in his blood can take shot after shot by the Kansas City defense and still deliver, what can you question about his toughness?
Also, how about the defense, who took on Patrick Mahomes and handed him a rare loss in January, his first since the AFC Championship game where former Bengal Rex Burkhead, then with New England, sent the kingdom home broken-hearted.
Now, Cincinnati ends KC’s winning streak while also punching their own ticket to the playoffs, making it very difficult for anyone within the division to secure a ticket to the next round.
The Cincinnati Bengals are a fun team to watch, and their future continues to look brighter.
After today’s performance, what more evidence do we need to give Chase the offensive rookie of the year award? His connection with Burrow is spectacular, and it was on full display. Moreover, it is the connection that pushed Cincinnati over the top.
For years, the franchise has had good moments and good quarterback-receiver tandems, but with little to no success. This seems different; this feels almost like something special is brewing in a city where good things rarely happen.
This is different, this group of tigers are embracing their roles, and they have so much to offer and so much to achieve, and at least for now, the hats and t-shirts should feel comfortable. Whom they draw in the first round will be interesting, but they are in, and they get a home playoff game.
The chase is on for the ultimate goal, but at least for now, a division title will do, and Cincinnati knows that they have a quarterback and wide receiver they can count upon for years to come.