Joe Burrow After Bengals' Win over Titans: 'I'm Tired of the Underdog Narrative'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 23, 2022

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow leaves the field after an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. The Cincinnati Bengals won 19-16. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

The Cincinnati Bengals are moving onto the AFC Championship Game for the first time the since 1988 season after beating the Tennessee Titans 19-16 in the divisional round Saturday.

Cincinnati had five losing straight losing seasons before this year, capped by a 4-11-1 record in 2020. The AFC North champions have made a quick turnaround, though, en route to beating the conference's No. 1 seed.

However, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow didn't have interest in any underdog talk in speaking with reporters postgame:

Paul Dehner Jr. @pauldehnerjr

Joe Burrow says doesn't like "Why Not Us," anymore. "I’m tired of the underdog narrative. We are a really, really good team. We are here to make noise. We are a really good team with good players and coaches."

Burrow has a point: The 10-win Bengals finished seventh in scoring this year and won four games against playoff teams, including the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. They also took the NFC's No. 1 seed, the Green Bay Packers, to overtime before losing 25-22.

Cincinnati opened the playoffs with a 26-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders before traveling to Nashville and winning an ugly game.

The Titans sacked Burrow nine times, and Tennessee signal-caller Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions.

The Bengals emerged victorious, though, and Burrow spoke about finishing the task at hand.

"Tomorrow morning may be a different story, but now I feel great," Burrow said. "It wasn’t always pretty, but we got the job done."

When he wasn't getting sacked, Burrow was dropping dimes, completing 28 of 37 passes for 348 yards.

The 25-year-old is leading a young, star-powered offense that includes rookie wideout Ja'Marr Chase (five catches, 109 yards) and second-year pro Tee Higgins (seven catches, 96 yards).

The youthful Bengals don't appear to be shrinking from the moment, though.

Ben Baby @Ben_Baby

Bengals QB Joe Burrow on why the moment doesn't seem too big for a young team that doesn't have playoff experience: "We don't know what we don't know. We're out there playing football with our friends. That's what it's like."

Cincinnati will now look for a Super Bowl berth next week in the AFC Championship Game. The winner of the Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs divisional-round matchup will host Cincinnati on Jan. 30 at 3:05 p.m. ET.