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Joe Burrow Setting New Standard for NFL Career, Bengals Franchise

Burrow, Chase set to face another difficult matchup in Tennessee for divisional round

If you caught Joe Burrow's press conference after the Cincinnati Bengals first playoff win in 31 years, it likely wasn't surprising with how he reacted to such a monumental moment for the franchise. 

Burrow expects to be here, in these playoff moments and wants people who follow his career and the Bengals franchise that this is only the beginning.

"I tried to downplay it because this is how it's gonna be from here on out," Burrow said. "It's a great win for us but this is the standard, the bare minimum going forward."

Burrow has played in a lot of big games over the last three years, dating back to his 2019 run at LSU. There was Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Clemson and this year against Baltimore, Kansas City and Las Vegas, all games with playoff implications where the moment has proven to never be too big for the 25-year-old quarterback. 

In those seven games, Burrow has thrown for 2,913 yards, 29 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Preparing for another big playoff game, this time on the road against the No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans, Burrow can't recall if he's ever not played well in a big moment game.

"I don't think so, not that I can remember," Burrow laughed. "As seasons have gone on, I've got better and better and that's because they have more reps. The more reps you accumulate, the better you're gonna play."

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The Titans feature a really solid defense and could be getting all world running back Derrick Henry back for the contest against the Bengals. Going into a hostile environment this weekend, Burrow will be going head-to-head with another one of his college teammates in defensive back Kristian Fulton. 

Fulton is in the middle of quite the breakout season himself, combining for 40 tackles and 14 passes defended on the season. 

"Kristian's a really good player, smart, understands what he's trying to do," Burrow said. "I know what he's capable of, it's gonna be a tough challenge."

Fulton and former LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase have been extremely close for a long time, dating back to their playing days at Rummel High School in Metairie. The duo will almost certainly be lined up across from one another throughout the course of the game, something even Fulton is having a hard time wrapping his head around.

“I don’t think we both imagined it like this, to be honest,” Fulton said. “We basically grew up together, so we keep in touch throughout the season. During the offseason we’ll probably get some workouts in together. We’ve got a pretty tight relationship.”

Burrow did give a little bit of insight as to how he approaches playoff games or big moments throughout the course of a season. It's an answer not dissimilar to what he said back at LSU before the Alabama game, or the Clemson game.

"Stay level headed. We could feel the energy and intensity in the locker room for the playoff game and I was trying to remain calm," Burrow said. "The key to performing in these situations is treating it like every other week. If you go out in warmups and super intense, you're not gonna be able to sustain that. That's the way I think about it. I try to stay even keeled."