Joe Burrow is the Cincinnati Bengals’ golden boy, but a safety may have stolen the show.
During briefings with reporters Dec. 4, the team praised the third-year quarterback again and again for his contributions against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals beat last season’s AFC championship foe 27-24 at Paycor Stadium, improving to 8-4. About 66,243 fans were in the Jungle for the game that inspired a meme war.
Burrow was behind a lot of reasons for the win, the team insisted.
“He's playing at the level we need for him to lead us to be confident that we can go win every game we play,” head coach Zac Taylor said. “I wouldn't trade him for anyone in the world.”
Burrow is now the first quarterback to beat the Kansas City Chiefs – along with their quarterback Patrick Mahomes – in three straight games. Burrow completed 25 of 31 passing attempts for 286 yards and had two touchdowns, including an eight-yard pass to running back Chris Evans in the fourth quarter that put the Bengals on top. Burrow now has the most passing scores in the fourth quarter of any quarterback – nine, according to ESPN.
The game also was remarkable because wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase finally returned to action after being sidelined with injuries for four games. Chase came roaring back by catching seven passes for 97 yards.
“Since he's got back, I've kind of been surprised at how he looks the same as when he left,” Taylor said. “But watching him move – man, if he comes to me and says 'I'm definitely playing this game,' I might have a couple plays ready for him. But he's just a freak.”
But safety Jessie Bates may have had the most memorable, suspiciously timed play of the game as Kansas City closed in on the line in the second quarter. With the Bengals’ defensive subs hitting the field late – which could have resulted in a penalty – Bates suddenly collapsed while clutching his leg, seemingly in pain. He previously had been standing casually, so the timing was convenient.
The CBS broadcasters were ready to give Bates an Academy Award.
“Now, look at this, watch. They're substituting and they're late. Bates, go down! Go down! Go down! There! [laughing] Ow, I got a, uh, cramp! Oh, that one really hurts, ow. Let me get off, okay,” CBS color analyst and former Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo narrated sarcastically. “That wasn't fake at all."
Incredibly timed injury here by Jessie Bates 😂pic.twitter.com/HFr987Axzq— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) December 4, 2022
Cincinnati last saw Kansas City in January, when the Bengals won the AFC championship with a game-saving kick from Evan McPherson. That win sent the Bengals to the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years.
With the loss, Kansas City dropped to 9-3.
Fans can fill their bellies on Dec. 5, thanks to Sunday's excitement. As the regional chili chain has done in the past, Gold Star is giving fans one free regular 3-, 4- or 5-Way with the purchase of another one of equal or greater value the day after the Bengals win. The Who Dey Way promotion is good all season long no matter if the win occurs on home turf or elsewhere. The promo is available at all Gold Star locations for drive-in, carry-out, dine-in and online; mention the Who Dey Way special when ordering.
Next, the Cincinnati Bengals will welcome the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 11 at Paycor Stadium. Cincinnati lost 32-13 during the teams' Halloween matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m., and CBS will broadcast the game.
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