Joe Burrow Fights ‘Being Upset’ After Bengals Survive Second Half Rally To Beat Patriots

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You want to know what’s special about Joe Burrow? It’s not that he threw three touchdowns and passed for 375 yards Sunday, came away with a win for the Cincinnati Bengals, and felt great about the results afterward.

It’s that when the Bengals’ 22-18 victory over the New England Patriots was complete and they remained squarely in the battle for the best record in the AFC, Burrow still had to fight “being upset.”

The third-year player who was in the Super Bowl last year, and wants to be back this season, is reaching for something higher than merely surviving games against sub-.500 teams that have lost four of their last five games.

“Teams that want to win a Super Bowl put them away a little earlier,” Burrow said.

Bengals beat the Patriots behind Joe Mixon running and Joe Burrow passing.
Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2022. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Joe Burrow Keeps Great Perspective

Burrow has a great perspective about him.

We see it when he celebrates success, however that may come. But when he also never loses sight of the ultimate prize. The goal.

Burrow, you see, never forgets he’s reaching for something higher than a regular-season win in Foxborough.

So, yes, it’s good Cincinnati beat the Patriots despite making mistakes — a dropped TD pass, two interceptions, missed extra points and field goals. Those mistakes ultimately didn’t stop Cincinnati this game.

“I was happy with the way we threw the ball, obviously we had close to 400 yards,” said Burrow, who finished with 375 passing yards.

But similar mistakes in bigger games could keep the Bengals’ from their goal. And that makes Burrow feel all kinds of uncomfortable.

Bengals saw Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase combine for this TD.
Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals attempts to catch a pass while Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots defends during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2022. (Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images)

Bengals Overcome Second Half Mistakes

“You try hard not to let it,” Burrow said. “I’ve only been in the league three years but I’ve played enough football to know it’s hard to win in this league so I’m fighting being upset when we go out and get a win and we have almost 500 yards of offense.

“So you balance those. Obviously, you’re upset when you don’t feel like you did everything you could on offense to score as many points as possible to make it easier on the team.”

The Bengals, by the way, did a difficult thing Sunday. They went on the road to Foxborough in December and beat Bill Belichick. That’s hard to do even after Tom Brady left for the warmer climate of Tampa Bay.

Bengals beat Patriots behind 3 TD passes from Joe Burrow.
The Bengals got three touchdown passes from Joe Burrow in the first half, including this one to Trenton Irwin. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Bengals In Fight For AFC’s Top Seed

The fact the Bengals accomplished this feat by surviving a second-half rally is kind of beside the point in the standings and in the playoff seeding.

The Bengals trail the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs by one game in the conference standings. And on Jan. 2 they host the Bills with a chance to take a lead in that race for the AFC’s top seed.

So, yes, in that respect the Bengals are on course to return to the Super Bowl for a second consecutive year.

But everyone on the Bengals understands what happened after they built a 22-0 halftime lead cannot repeat against teams like the Chiefs and Bills.

“We just got to execute the way we need to,” Burrow said. “Like we did in the first half, like we know we’re capable of doing and like we know that we can. But this game got away from us there a little bit.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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