Despite previous success against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Burrow still has the right mentality ahead of a crucial matchup.
Heading into Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, the Cincinnati Bengals — most notably their quarterback, Joe Burrow — are well aware of what is at stake.
A loss means the season is over, and Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will be on a flight to Arizona for Super Bowl LVII. However, if Cincinnati wins, they will not only repeat as AFC Champions but will be on their way to the Super Bowl instead, increasing Burrow’s record vs. Mahomes to 4-0.
But don’t tell that to No. 9. He’s not looking past that team or past success against that team, even though his guys like Mike Hilton and Eli Apple have given quite a bit of motivation to the kingdom with their trash talk.
Burrow is right. Even though Cincinnati is a betting favorite and the reigning conference champion, the road to the Super Bowl still goes through Kansas City, who has yet to play a road playoff game in the Mahomes era.
Joe Burrow is having the right mindset heading into the AFC Championship Game
There are those who will call this an “attempt to create an underdog narrative” by a Bengals team that has, to be honest, been feeling themselves quite a bit following their big win over Buffalo, going as far as to call Arrowhead Stadium “Burrowhead.”
Travis Kelce has a right to his opinion and is to be commended for it. No doubt he and his teammates will be ready.
That said, the game still has to be played regardless of the past. Plus, there is the Patrick Mahomes ankle situation to take into consideration. Moreover, the past does not matter. Would Burrow accept a 3-1 record, and the one loss comes on Sunday? Absolutely not, and neither would the Bengals.
They want redemption after last year’s loss to the Rams, especially Apple, who would like nothing more than to talk trash for the rest of the off-season instead of being forced to stay quiet.
Meanwhile, Kansas City wants a chance for revenge for last season and to get back to the Super Bowl and erase the painful memories of Super Bowl LV, a 31-9 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Again though, Burrow has the right mindset. This season, the team revamped in several areas with the idea of getting back to the big game, hoping to enjoy the confetti on the field instead of being escorted off.
The Bengals have talked quite a bit, and so far, they wanted it. That said, if it’s not backed up on Sunday, the ridicule and blowback from the outside world will be a must-see. However, if they can go back into Arrowhead and win and go on to get the Lombardi, it will be worth it.
One game at a time, and the past doesn’t matter. Joe Burrow knows that, and if he plays as he has for much of the postseason and the regular season, he will have the last laugh. Let’s see how this all turns out.