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It’s been 32 years since the Cincinnati Bengals won a playoff game, but Joe Burrow intends to make that streak go away.
This year, the Bengals are making their first playoff appearance since 2015 after winning the AFC North. Burrow and coach Zac Taylor are two major reasons for the return to relevance, and the good news is, Burrow says he is ready to go.
He led the Bengals to a win over the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago, then he took off Week 18 to rest. The Chiefs have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl each of the past two seasons, so Cincinnati’s victory over them has people talking about a new true blue contender.
The Bengals own the No. 4 seed and open the playoffs Saturday at home against the Raiders.
“Physically it was good,” Burrow told reporters of his week off. “Mentally it was a little weird not being with everybody. But it was a good little break. Ready to be back at it.”
Burrow played in 16 games this season, throwing for 4,611 yards and 34 yards, compared to just 14 interceptions. While this is his first NFL playoff game, he has looked like a seasoned veteran when things have meant the most. He did, after all, win a national championship as the QB at LSU. He knows big moments.
So clearly, he is undaunted by the task that awaits.
“I played in a lot of big games throughout my college career, but this year as well,” Burrow said. “I’ve always prided myself on making plays when the game is on the line.”
It’s been a long time since the Bengals had the type of season that had people thinking they just might pull off something special. Burrow gives them a good chance to make that a reality this year.