NFL

Bengals believe Burrow can handle Chiefs test as Super Bowl dream gets closer

By Sports Desk January 28, 2022

Joe Burrow is well placed to cope with one of the NFL's loudest venues as the Cincinnati Bengals look to spring a huge upset and keep their Super Bowl dream alive.

That is the view of Bengals wider receiver Tyler Boyd as the Bengals prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

The Chiefs are playing in their fourth straight AFC Championship Game and seeking to reach a third consecutive Super Bowl.

Cincinnati have impressed in beating the Las Vegas Raiders and number one seed Tennessee Titans in the postseason so far.

But they must now find another level to beat a Chiefs squad led by star quarterback Patrick Mahomes on the road, at a venue that is known for its vociferous home support. 

"It's really tough," Boyd said about the challenge facing the Bengals at Arrowhead.

"I think a lot of the guys and specifically Joe are kind of ready for that.

"Because guys like him and [Ja'Marr] Chase and guys who played in the SEC [Southeastern Conference], they played against opponents where there were hundreds of thousands of fans in the stadium.

"We're just going to have to be perfect on our hand signals and with the communication.

"We've got to stay locked in and keep eyes on the quarterback and he'll just get us in the right calls and we'll know what we will be doing."

The formidable Mahomes has reached the conference championship in all four of his seasons as a regular NFL starter.

At 26 years old, he will become the youngest QB to start in four different conference championship games, beating the record of Donovan McNabb, who was 28 at the time of his fourth such game in 2004.

But the Bengals and Burrow have hit form at the perfect time, a fine run that included winning in Week 17 against the Chiefs in a 34-31 thriller when they had home advantage.

Burrow has been in electric form and threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns in that statement victory, while Chase dominated the Chiefs with 11 catches for 266 yards and three scores.

That performance meant QB Burrow became the first player in NFL history with 400+ pass yards, 4+ pass TDs and zero INTs in consecutive games, having also done so in Week 16 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Chase, meanwhile, broke the single-game rookie receiving yards record.

The rookie caught 81 passes for 1,455 yards with 13 TDs in an incredible season, forming part of an impressive receiving corps with Tee Higgins (74 catches for 1,091 yards) and Boyd (67 and 828).

Boyd agreed with recent assessments from coach Zac Taylor and Burrow that the unselfishness of the trio has been key to their success.

"It's because we all know how good we are as a group," Boyd said of the receivers. "We all have great friendships and we all care for each other. We all know our value in the league and on this team.

"So some games every guy can't get their rocks off when they want. Even when there are times where they probably have been open a few times and the ball is not coming their way.

"But at the end of the day, we all trust Joe to throw it to the guy that's open or he feels like he has the best chance on that specific play."

Now in his sixth season, Boyd is one of the longer-serving players in the Bengals roster having played 89 games, with this being his first postseason experience.

He said: "I'm all about winning now. I didn't have a 1,000-yard receiving season. I did everything I could do early in my career. But now at this point, I just want to win.

"I'm trying to get to and achieve the milestones that I've been wanting to reach early in my career.

"Guys are coming in now like Ja'Marr Chase and all the other guys that are stepping foot into this organisation.

"Joe Mixon and I and the other guys that have been here are replaying that voice in people's heads of what we want to be as a team. As a team perspective and not just single individual goals."

Despite being underdogs, the Bengals are dreaming of a Super Bowl berth against the Los Angeles Rams or San Francisco 49ers.

Boyd said: "It feels great now to say that we are collectively a great unit all around and knowing that we have a superior team now. We can go out there and beat any team.

"I think in my lifetime [the Super Bowl] would probably be the biggest milestone for me, the best achievement in my whole sports career.

"That's the reason why I've been playing. I have been through a heck of a roller coaster ride, ups and downs and injuries and things like that.

"It's just like a dream come true. You wake up, then you're playing in the Super Bowl and you win and you talk Disney World and you have your kids and your family on the field.

"It's kind of a surreal feeling that I would love and want to go through. To even be a part of playing in some historic game, it would mean everything."

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    Di Giannantonio took chances on the testy Mugello circuit, sticking his 2021-spec Gresini on pole with a time of 1:46.156, and his response post-qualifying was naturally one of excitement.

    "It’s one thing unimaginable, since you arrive right here in Mugello and anticipate to do a superb outcome for all of the individuals who come for you, who cheer for you, all of the help that you’ve got right here in your house race," he said post-qualifying.

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    Johann Zarco briefly held provisional pole but had to settle for fourth on his Pramac Ducati, ahead of Francesco Bagnaia on the factory Ducati.

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  • Klopp claims Courtois performance proved final was 'going wrong' for Madrid Klopp claims Courtois performance proved final was 'going wrong' for Madrid

    Jurgen Klopp congratulated Real Madrid on their Champions League final win but highlighted the number of statistics in Liverpool's favour as they came up just short in Paris.

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  • Robertson: Liverpool players 'devastated' after Champions League final defeat Robertson: Liverpool players 'devastated' after Champions League final defeat

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    Liverpool dominated for long periods in the French capital, attempting 24 shots across the contest.

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    Robertson was left to rue Madrid's counter-attacking excellence after the loss, also praising the LaLiga champions for their ability to see out the lead.

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    "Obviously it's hard to get back into the game when you're playing against a very experienced team in these finals, they know exactly how to see out a game. 

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