The gall. Late in Sunday’s game against the AFC-leading Chiefs, the Bengals faced a third-and-27 from Kansas City’s 41-yard line. The game was tied, and the prudent plan would have been for quarterback Joe Burrow to play it safe: Throw a short pass, gain about 10 yards, and get into field-goal range.
But Burrow’s Bengals don’t believe in “prudent.” They think you can take your field goal and shove it up the bowels of Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium. Instead, Burrow took a shot down the right sideline and completed a 30-yard pass to rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase. First down, Cincy. By now, you know what happened next. Twice, the Bengals faced fourth-and-goal just inches from the end zone, but rather than kick a chip-shot field goal to take a 3-point lead and give the ball back to Patrick Mahomes, they went for the touchdown both times. Penalties offset both attempts—the flag on the latter play came after a questionable Kansas City foul on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed that gave Cincinnati a first down and finally set up the game-winning field goal.
When asked about the pivotal third-down conversion to Chase after the game, Burrow referenced … a Patrick Mahomes meme.
“Everyone knows that meme,” Burrow said about the play after the game. “F it, Ja’Marr’s down there somewhere.”
So much stands out from Cincinnati’s 34-31 win over Kansas City. Burrow and Chase have transferred their astonishing, record-smashing chemistry as LSU teammates to a record-breaking first season together in the NFL. The Bengals clinched the AFC North for the first time in six years and established themselves as a legit AFC contender. They all but eliminated their division rivals—the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns—from the playoff race, and look poised to contend for the division title for years to come. But what stands out most from watching Cincinnati this season is its “F it” attitude.
Despite having one of the youngest offenses in the NFL, Cincinnati fears nothing and nobody. Sometimes, that boldness is to its detriment. More often, it’s been a successful recipe. This squad has absorbed…