CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow offered advice for those panicking about the team’s winless start heading into Week 3.
“Let’s all just take a deep breath and relax,” Burrow said Wednesday during his weekly news conference. “We’re gonna be fine. We’re not worried about it.”
Cincinnati’s reign as defending AFC champion has not gone well so far. The Bengals are the first team in the Super Bowl era to lose its first two games despite being at least a 7-point favorite in each contest, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Staying calm despite the early losses was a primary talking point for Burrow and several of the Bengals ahead of this weekend’s game against the New York Jets, who will be starting backup quarterback Joe Flacco.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor said during his news conference that Burrow has clarity about the situation. The fourth-year coach added that it’s easy to feel the panic, but he relishes the added pressure for this year’s team to perform well following last year’s Super Bowl appearance.
“We’ve been begging for expectations,” said Taylor, who started his coaching tenure in Cincinnati with a 2-14 season in 2019. “We’ve been begging for high standards, and now they’re here and this is part of it. When you start out slower than what you hoped and what people anticipated, then you’re gonna deal with that. And I love it.”
The Bengals are the lone team in the AFC North without a win after two weeks. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens are all 1-1.
Cincinnati’s offense has come under fire after scoring just three touchdowns in the first two games, with all of those drives coming in the second half. Burrow’s mantra of having patience extended to his comfort level with the offensive line after taking 13 sacks in the first two games.
“Those guys are working hard to get it right,” Burrow said. “I can do a lot more to help them, too. And we can do more with playcalling to help them as well. We’re getting this thing right. Nobody’s panicking.”
Burrow said while there is no panic, there is an urgency to avoid an 0-3 start. Since the team’s loss to Dallas, Burrow has referenced the multiple two-game losing skids the Bengals suffered last season, such as one that included an upset loss to the Jets in Week 8.
The top overall pick in the 2020 draft said some of the same issues that have been discussed recently were also talked about last year before the Bengals corrected course, secured their first playoff berth since 2015 and won their first AFC championship since 1989. Burrow said how the team fared last year gives him confidence Cincinnati can do it again.
And when it comes to breathing easily and feeling good about things despite early struggles, Burrow isn’t alone.
“At the end of the day, we know that we have a good football team and that we’re gonna get back on track and we’ll be in good shape,” Taylor said. “And everyone can relax.”