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Bengals QB Joe Burrow makes promise that’s a warning for rest of NFL

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The rest of the league better watch out... Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals are coming



Sonny Giuliano

Jul 8, 2024 at 11:24 AM ET



During an offseason in which he recovered from a season-ending right wrist injury, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has been forced to confront his own football mortality.


The fact of the matter is, for as talented as Joe Burrow is and for as much success as he's had throughout his four seasons in Cincinnati, his time has been marked by numerous injuries.


We're talking major, season-endings ones — like a torn ACL during his rookie season and a wrist injury that cost him the final seven games of the season last year — in addition to more minor ones that have limited Burrow's offseason participation, like a calf strain and an emergency appendectomy.


As Joe Burrow continues to work himself back into game shape, there is understandable skepticism around the league regarding the Cincinnati Bengals.


Surely, plenty of this has to do with Burrow's injury history. It's unfortunate, but when you suffer season-ending injuries in two of your first four NFL seasons, people are going to start looking at you different, and because Burrow is not just the quarterback, but the face of the Cincinnati Bengals, the entire franchise is potentially flying under the radar as the 2024 NFL season inches closer by the day.


The Bengals will be playing a last place schedule and have many of their key pieces back from squads that went to back-to-back AFC Championship Games in 2021 and 2022.


For that reason, it's possible that both Burrow and the Bengals aren't getting the respect that they deserve heading into the season. And Burrow took it upon himself to give the rest of the league a reminder of just who he is and what the Bengals are capable of. When asked if he believed the Bengals were being undervalued heading into the 2024 NFL season, this was Burrow's determined response:


“I believe that,” Burrow said during an interview on Pardon My Take (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). “That’s what happens when you get hurt, though. You don’t play football, people forget about you. . . . If you’re not out there and people aren’t watching you, then there’s nothing to talk about. I’m going to give people something to talk about this year. I’m excited about it.”


I'm going to give people something to talk about this year is about as cold of a line as you could deliver while coming back from a season-ending injury, and you know what, I don't doubt Joe Burrow for a second.



Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) emerges from the examination tent before running to the locker room with an apparent hand injury in the second quarter of the NFL Week 11 game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023.

© Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK


Can Joe Burrow and the Bengals return to the top of the AFC North? 


The short answer to this question is ‘Yes,' Burrow and the Bengals could absolutely win the AFC North and end up representing the AFC in the Super Bowl if things break right for them. That mostly has to do with keeping Joe Burrow healthy, because as simple as it may sound, when Burrow doesn't end his season in the IR, the Bengals have made it to the AFC Championship Game. When Burrow does end his season on the IR, the Bengals have missed the Playoffs entirely.


In the offseason, the Bengals added Mike Gesicki and Zack Moss to an offense that will be without Joe Mixon for the first time since 2016. In his seven seasons with the Bengals, Mixon rushed for at least 1,000 yards four times, including a career best 1,205 yards during the 2021 regular season, as Cincinnati was making a stunning run to the Super Bowl. On the other side of the ball, Sheldon Rankins, Geno Stone and Vonn Bell join a Bengals defense that slipped to 21st in the league in scoring last season after a 6th-place finish in 2022.


The AFC North may be the toughest division in football. It was the only division in the league last season that had all four teams finish the year with a winning record. That could be the case again this year, but this time around, don't expect Cincinnati to be at the back of the pack.



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