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Raiders Week part 2 - AFC Wildcard weekend

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1 hour ago, OU_Stripes said:

Burrow obliterates Carr in yards per attempt, touchdown passes, TD/INT ratio, passer rating, and PFF grade. He bests him still in completion percentage and yards per game.

And he doesn't look like a guy that starred in a USA movie original about a high school jock who murdered his GF because he loved her too much and she just didn't understand. 



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‘He wants to take your freaking soul’: How Joe Burrow’s personality fast-tracked a Bengals renaissance


---by Paul Dehner



The tape can be slowed down, sped up, progressions and audibles explained. Throws can be analyzed for precision, tracked for accuracy to the decimal point. Joe Burrow’s emergence as a quarterback in his second season can be specifically quantified by league-leading numbers and even compared across generations. What’s made him generational for the Bengals, however, and hit fast-forward on a Bengals franchise renaissance doesn’t come with a Pro Football Focus grade or NextGen Stats.


“It’s rare what he has,” head coach Zac Taylor said. “It’s hard to describe. That’s the best way to put it. It’s hard to describe. You have to experience the full scope of it to really understand it.”


Yes, “it.” Often used, rarely explained.


Those who experienced the galvanizing, uniting force of Burrow off the field in Cincinnati mostly agree there’s an intangible aura about the quarterback that captured hearts and created a team thriving in his image en route to a worst-to-first AFC North title.


They attempt to paint a picture of their quarterback’s profound impact off the field, one he used to inspire a national championship at LSU in such a way that’s the stuff of legend in Baton Rouge.


There’s Joe the chameleon, Joe the communicator and Joe the silently stewing. Then Joe the quiet, Joe the grinder and Joe the engine of swaggering competitiveness.


“All the confidence and the smirking, he wants to take your freaking soul,” offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said. “People feel that.” Do they ever.


In Cincinnati, the upstart Bengals fed off his natural relationship-building instincts and after just two years made a locker room believe they — yes, the Bengals, of all teams — are capable of making history and winning the Super Bowl.


“It is infectious,” center Trey Hopkins said. “He walks around like, ‘Hey, I’m about to kick your ass and I’m going to have fun.’ That’s what you want. Everybody in the building wants to feel like that. Everybody wants to get on board with that person.”


‘He has a knack for knowing what is needed’


Many memes and videos were created and circulated in the aftermath of the Bengals’ 34-31 victory against Kansas City to win

the North and clinch a playoff spot. One stood out.


It showed four pictures side by side, of Burrow celebrating in a different way with different groups of players in the locker room. “I thought that was the funniest thing I’ve seen and I laughed my ass off,” Callahan said.





While funny, it was also indicative of the most notable aspect of Burrow as a leader in the locker room. He’s found a unique connection with pretty much everyone. He’s a social chameleon.


“He has a relationship with every single person on the team, has a conversation with them,” backup quarterback Brandon Allen said. “He’s a personable type of guy and gets to know his teammates. Defensive guys go up and talk to Joe. Offensive guys go up and talk to Joe. I think that kind of feeds into that leadership role.”


Burrow plays chess with Chidobe Awuzie and bought G-Shock watches for his offensive linemen. He dances with Joe Mixon on the field and recruits Riley Reiff at The Precinct. He called special teamer Stanely Morgan “everyone’s favorite player on the team.” When Ja’Marr Chase went through his struggles in the preseason, Burrow always stood in his corner both publicly and privately.


“I try to do a lot of different things, be a lot of different people within the locker room,” Burrow said. “Try to be relatable to everybody. And then nobody’s going to listen to you if you don’t go out and do your job and put in the work to execute on Sundays.”


You won’t find Burrow giving speeches often. They’ve happened, but are more outlier than a regular occurrence. “He’s vocal at the right times,” assistant coach Mark Duffner said. “It’s not a monotonous record. That’s a gift he has.”


Through the eyes of 13-year veteran punter Kevin Huber, Burrow’s voice is effective through the individual relationships, not some passionate diatribe. Huber can’t help but notice how subtle, yet impactful the style proves to be. “He has such a great feeling for what’s needed at any given point,” Huber said. “If the guy just needs to be talked to, you see him talk to the guy. If he needs to be pumped up, he’ll pump the guy up. Someone needs encouragement, he’s encouraging the guy. It’s more so he has that knack for knowing what is needed in a situation.”


What impressed 32-year-old veteran Mike Daniels about Burrow’s evolution as a leader in their two years together was Burrow never tried to be anything he wasn’t last season. He treated everyone the same in a way Daniels compared to his former MVP quarterback in Green Bay Aaron Rodgers, but what stuck out was he didn’t enter with a bulldozing desire to take over the locker room. “You automatically respect that out of the No. 1 overall pick,” Daniels said. “You respect that because you expect something else out of a guy that goes that high.”


Burrow instead saw Geno Atkins, A.J. Green, Carlos Dunlap, Giovani Bernard and other veterans already in place. Yeah, he was the top pick. Yeah, he was already on every billboard. Yeah, he was instantly the face of the franchise. But even as a rookie, he could read the room as well as he could read the defense.


When the old guard dispersed this offseason, Burrow admittedly assumed a natural ascension. “I feel like I’ve proven myself to the team and to the league that I’ve earned the right to kind of speak up a little more,” Burrow said.


Burrow understood the right to a voice had to be earned, even for someone dubbed savior the night he was drafted.


“He’s got such an innate ability to understand human interaction and human dynamics,” Callahan said. “There’s nothing about it that’s forced. There’s nothing about it that’s awkward. I’ve been around other guys that, they can be awkward. And they can come across as kind of phony. It’s just not natural for them. His ability to relate to people is natural. And they all love him.”


'He just sits there and stares’


Tight end C.J. Uzomah straightens his mouth and lifts his eyebrow. He’s attempting an impression of a mad Joe Burrow.

“He’ll give you a look,” Uzomah said. “I’ve gotten the look before. You don’t want that look.” Uzomah’s pulled out Burrow impressions before. They all require subtlety. None more than explaining how the quarterback manifests his frustrations. It doesn’t happen often so recognizing it requires much time spent.


“He’ll take a deep breath,” Callahan said. “Like a very deep breath. To some degree, it’s his way of telling everybody. But he kind of clenches his jaw and he kind of keeps it. It’s like he’s like bottling it, whatever it is, as opposed to lashing out. But those guys always seem to know when he’s really irritated.”


For those who run a wrong route or miss an assignment, the expression of falling short of the standard doesn’t come with stern words or a calculated scene of dirt kicking. “It’s a feeling, it’s not words,” Taylor said. “It’s a brief, half-second something. Just that somebody should have done better.”


Those looks or breaths happen in the moment: during practice, during a game, during a meeting. The accumulation of moments over the course of a bad practice or game, however, creates a very different view of anger. “He doesn’t show anger,” Hopkins said. “It shows as focus.”


The demand for better turns inward.


“You notice it if it’s a bad practice,” Huber said. “You will just see him sitting there in his locker and he’s just, yeah, you are not going to go around him. He just sits there and stares. You can tell he’s just going through it and almost doing mental reps to make sure it’s not going to happen again. Him pissed off is just an internal battle with himself to make sure that never happens again.”


What evolves out of this internal battle is one of the most noted aspects of Burrow’s leadership skillset repeated by nearly all those who interact with him. The clear, precise communication in corrections and expectations make executing what the quarterback wants easier on game days.


“It’s not a rebuke, it’s an actual correction,” Hopkins said. “Just, ‘Hey, on this I’m going to need you to do this.’ It’s very quick, to the point, fix the problem and move on.”


This shows up notably with Burrow’s trio of receivers, or “the athletic freakshows,” as he dubbed them on Tuesday. When pointing to the dramatic improvement of the passing game during the year, the precise corrections can equate to big plays.

Callahan specifically mentions a deep bench route Tee Higgins caught against Cover 2 against San Francisco. Burrow spoke all week about how that route against a cloud coverage would need to be run deeper and let Burrow bring the route back with the throw, if necessary. Higgins kept the perfect angle and Burrow hit him for a 27-yard gain to the sideline to set up one of two drives that tied the game in regulation.


“When stuff hits the fan or something isn’t quite going the way you anticipated,” said Uzomah, who has repeatedly this season called Burrow the smartest player on the field, “he’s able to make adjustments, sit us down and just say, ‘Just do this.'”


This happens often.


“He’s very direct with the receivers about what he expects,” Callahan said, “which is where they probably respect him the most.”


‘He’s eager for the fight’


Taylor will walk through the facility when he arrives on home game days and past the indoor turf field connected to the weight room. Like clockwork, he’ll see Burrow, going through his routine.


“He’s not around anyone,” Taylor said. “No one’s really watching. But every single Sunday I’ve been in there since I’ve been here, I see a process that starts very early in the morning, and he’s very consistent with it. He’s not a guy who’s just about the attention and does things in the limelight so that everybody sees and writes about it. He does it behind closed doors when no one’s watching, when very few see it.”


Even if other coaches and players don’t see it, they hear about it. They feel it. Burrow talks about understanding the need to set a tone for the entire team. When in the building, that’s nearly always a serious one. He’s about business. He’s about the work. Consequently, so is everyone else.


“When you feel him come in a room and see how locked in he gets,” Taylor said, “what choice to do you have but to follow suit?” What teammates are following is maniacal competitiveness. You hear this about the great players. They’re wired differently. In the eyes of players, Burrow’s wires are exposed for all to see from the moment you meet him.


“It can be something simple like ping-pong or football or anything,” Allen said. “You can just tell he’s got that competitive edge where he wants to win in everything he does. I saw that early.” Awuzie arrived a relatively seasoned chess player and Burrow has taken to the game to the point that a board sits in front of his locker. Awuzie won both times they played, but the seriousness on Burrow’s face discussing it shows the cornerback pushed a button.


“I had to get a little better from the first one. And then I started puttin’ a little pressure on him,” Burrow said, then dropping the confident look he’s flashed notably over the years. “I think the next game we have might be a little different.” Beating Burrow twice puts the quarterback in his comfort zone. This is how Bengals’ players view him as special and what’s translated so directly to why this group believes.


Whether getting recruited from a small school in Athens or having to transfer from Ohio State or willing LSU out of the shadows to one the greatest seasons in college football history and the No.1 overall pick.


The steeper the climb, the bolder the confidence.


“He’s eager for the fight,” Hopkins said. “He enjoys it. That’s who you want to play with. The guy who looks for the hardships, looks for the problems just because he knows he can fix it. I love it.”


A video circulated from Burrow’s early days as a no-name, young backup for the Buckeyes. He’s in a tire wrestling match against a bigger, stronger teammate. As the battle ensues, you see the edge that draws people to him. “That type of mentality and what he did,” Callahan said, “that’s how he earned everybody’s respect everywhere he’s ever been.”


In Cincinnati, the tire pull was a rookie season filled with punishment and the ultimate, gnarly knee injury. He took 51 sacks this season, played through a dislocated pinky, hobbled with a banged-up right knee that took him off the field for the final seconds of the win over the Chiefs. “He’s tougher than hell,” Duffner said. “He could play middle linebacker in a minute.”


Oh yeah, all of this after an offseason of rehab from the torn ACL and MCL featuring a return at OTAs, participating in all of training camp and playing the opener against Minnesota. Being there — understanding the message his presence sent — mattered.


“Some people are more verbal with things and some people just go out there and have a stone-cold killer look and just deliver,” Uzomah said. “Joe’s leadership just comes with how tough he is. You guys only see a fraction of it.”

Uzomah’s first Burrow impression was of that look after a wild comeback on Thursday Night Football against Jacksonville. He held the straight face for five seconds in the postgame news conference that night. It came moments after Burrow threw the game-defining pass to the tight end against a zero blitz to set up an Evan McPherson field goal at the gun. He was mic’d up by NFL Films and caught screaming, “You can’t zero me!” on his way off the field.


“You saw it in mic’d up against Jacksonville, you feel the energy he brings,” Allen said. “It kind of goes back to the competitiveness. Hey, we are going to win. People just feed off that competitiveness that he brings to the offense. It doesn’t matter the score. We always believe we are going to win the game and Joe brings that energy.”


‘It’s been a beautiful thing to observe’


On the outside, it can look cocky. The subtle shots at Wink Martindale after launching bombs in a blowout of the Ravens while throwing for 525 yards. The mic’d-up moments. The cigars. “He’s unapologetically himself,” Callahan said. “He doesn’t bend or change.”


The line between cocky and confident is separated by the work. The focus seen walking through the building each day and standard set always assuring the level of attention is where it needs to be keeps the message grounded. “That’s a big part of the quarterback position is setting the tone for the week, trying to create a narrative for the week about how you think the game is going to go, and being a positive influence in that locker room,” Burrow said. “The quarterback has a lot to go into it. It’s not just everything you see on the field.”


These aren’t impossible balances to strike. The greats do. What’s remarkable is he’s doing it in only his second season.


“I’m not here to canonize him, but doggone it, he’s a pretty impressive cat,” Duffner said. “It has nothing to do with all the yards and that type of thing. It’s not only his play. It’s his mind, his toughness, competitiveness, his work ethic. All these things are clearly watched by everybody and his teammates. They clearly know, this cat’s got it. It’s been a beautiful thing to observe.”


Now, as the Bengals face their tallest task yet in ending the 31-year playoff win drought and the pressure heightens, a sense of calm and confidence hovers over the team.


It may be hard to describe, but the dramatic flip in the belief of the franchise is no coincidence. Attitude reflects leadership.

“We have great leadership in a lot of different places,” Callahan said, “but he’s the face of it all.”



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"The chance for snow Saturday is looking slim at this point. It looks like southwest of Cincinnati will have the best chance to see snow. It also appears to be light."


Still cold... 30ish or lower.

I'm OK with that.  I'm OK with driving in the cold but in the snow... not so much.

No snow means faux red fox hoodie.


Son waiting to see if he tests negative Friday before deciding if he can go.


Captain Obvious warning from the city.  Be vaccinated and wear a mask.  Duh.  They wouldn't have the gonads to think about banning fans at this point.  



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1 hour ago, Hooky said:

I know that opposition means hate to youkids now and it's leverage for debates, but I made a valid point that college stats have nothing to do with pros. He was implying that the combined stats were encouraging for big games like this one coming up. I'm sorry if objectivity gets in the way of your suckfest. Talk about erect.


KSL Unrivaled on Twitter: "PODCAST: Old man Shaq shaking his fist at clouds  yelling, "back in my day" https://t.co/gC4ZgtSbGE… "

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32 minutes ago, saphead said:

And he doesn't look like a guy that starred in a USA movie original about a high school jock who murdered his GF because he loved her too much and she just didn't understand. 




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26 minutes ago, High School Harry said:

Captain Obvious warning from the city.  Be vaccinated and wear a mask.  Duh.  They wouldn't have the gonads to think about banning fans at this point.  

We're also at the height of Omnicron. So.... Don't be a dumbass. Wear your seatbelt too. I'm not a fan of wondering why we don't see some folks anymore and realizing they probably died.

Politics aside - If we were in the middle of a flu surge I'd be saying the same. An R value of ~4 is nuttin' to play with.


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2 hours ago, Hooky said:

You can't really combine college and NFL stats. A lot of NFL QBs would look good in that case. But not surprising. Orlovsky is an idiot. And for the record, he was worshipping Baker Mayfield in the same fashion a couple of years ago.


jesus fucking christ.


its a fucking twitter post, he didnt engrave it in a museum. get a fucking grip.

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21 minutes ago, LostInDaJungle said:

We're also at the height of Omnicron. So.... Don't be a dumbass. Wear your seatbelt too. I'm not a fan of wondering why we don't see some folks anymore and realizing they probably died.

Politics aside - If we were in the middle of a flu surge I'd be saying the same. An R value of ~4 is nuttin' to play with.



hey, im in that graphic.

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Just now, GoBengals said:


hey, im in that graphic.

Sorry to hear it. Half of my team is out with Covid right now. It's been pretty mild for them, but it's been a few weeks of getting better and getting sick again. That sucks.

I pretty much accept that it's just a "thing" going forward. But if flu cases were spiking like that, I'd tell you to be careful as well.

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1 hour ago, membengal said:



‘He wants to take your freaking soul’: How Joe Burrow’s personality fast-tracked a Bengals renaissance


---by Paul Dehner


Thanks for that awesomeness 

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1 hour ago, UncleEarl said:

Gotta give Carr some credit.  He does have Burrow beaten with his facial hair game.  His evil stare is hard to beat as well. 


Derek Carr Staring | Know Your Meme


He's also a lot better at mascara / eye liner than Burrow.


Not that there's anything wrong with that.  Lol.

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For those going to the game, I'm sharing an email I just got from Elizabeth B;




REMINDER: Kickoff is on SATURDAY at 4:30PM! Get here EARLY and arrive at the gates by 3:30 PM so you don't miss any of the pregame show. Don't forget that if you are bringing a bag it must be clear.


Gameday Timeline

UE & CRG Garages Open: 10:30 AM
Lots 1, A, B, D, E & Hilltop Open: 12:30 PM
Jungle Zone (Now at ICON Music Center): 2:30 PM
Gates Open: 3:00 PM
Player Warm Ups: 3:05 PM
Jungle Zone Closes: 4:00 PM
Player Introductions: 4:23PM
National Anthem: 4:30 PM
Ruler of The Jungle Ceremony: 4:34 PM
Kickoff: 4:35 PM


Honor Guard: US Navy Honor Guard (Life, Liberty... and the Pursuit of all who threaten it.)
National Anthem: Retired Cincinnati Fire Department Firefighter, John Winfrey
Theme Of The Game: Super Wildcard Weekend
Ruler of The Jungle:  Ickey Woods

I have checked for any Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) that the FAA is planning to announce - there will be a TFR centered on PBS and extending out to a radius of 3NM, from ground to 3000' AGL, from 3:30pm to 10:30pm on Saturday.  Pilots who violate this airspace and who do not adhere to procedures un 49 USC 40103(B)(C) may be intercepted, detained and interviewed by LEO/Security personnel.  Any of the following actions may also be taken against a pilot who does not comply with the requirements or any special instructions or procedures announced herein:

A) The FAA may take administrative action, including imposing civil penalties and the suspension or revocation or airmen certificates; or

B) The United States Government may pursue criminal charges, including charges under Title 49 of the United States Code, Section 46407; or

C) The United States Government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.



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1 hour ago, LostInDaJungle said:


Yeah, the stereotype endures. Having lived in or near each stop in the Raider trail of cities, it is an image the erstwhile fans in those areas both love and despise. 

Oakland was an AFL epicenter, led by one of the most gifted promoters (and a fair coach too) in the business. He got the image started—something to set it apart from the rest of those insane AFL squads. 

LA was the right place/right time. Already established evil image, combined with NWA. Nailed it.


Oakland II had a fading franchise founder, so-so teams, and a lousy stadium. Image can only go so far. 

Las Vegas is an enigma. Should be a city of scattered loyalties, but may turn out to be the best of them all. Sure, a lot of leftover LA transplants, but basically a fresh fan base. All I had to do was witness the mania that was the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season, going to the Stanley Cup Finals, to cement the knowledge that these folks are seriously good fans. Yeah, they will still do the Black Hole thing, but I am convinced they would support any team—because it is theirs. 

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48 minutes ago, Mikeslumina said:

Peter king just said bengals were offered 5 1  first round picks from dolphins for burrow. I might have taken that  and chose Herbert in 2020 

On the flipside it shows that Stephen Ross knew what JB would bring to a team..a city snd the fanbase..

He'd still love to have him no?


Curious as to why those picks werent offered for Herbert..

Maybe an oversight.. 😎











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