After stumbling out of the gate in 2023, Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals looked closer to the version we’ve become used to seeing with Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase spearheading an explosive attack.
In the 34-20 win in Arizona, Chase set a franchise record with 15 catches, going for 192 yards and three touchdowns.
“We’ve taken a step closer to who we really are,” Chase said after the victory, via the team’s official website. “We keep facing adversity this year. It’s not going to be an easy season and right now we just keep taking it step by step into next week.”
Chase became only the fifth player since 1950 with 15-plus receptions and three receiving TDs in a game — joining HOF Steve Largent, HOF Jerry Rice, Jimmy Smith, and Tyler Lockett.
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With Burrow looking more like himself after the lingering calf injury from training camp, the Bengals offense found a groove against Arizona, including a 63-yard touchdown bomb to Chase.
The star wideout believes with Burrow rounding into form, the Bengals can put the early-season struggles in the rear-view.
“It shows us who we really are,” Chase said of their play Sunday. “We already knew what we were capable of from the jump. We’ve definitely faced adversity from the jump, and right now we’re just getting that wagon going again and moving forward.”
Sunday marked Burrow’s first game of 2023 with 300-plus passing yards, 3 TDs or a 100-plus passer rating.
Burrow said Sunday’s win felt like the 2022 victory in New Orleans after Cincy got off to a 2-3 start to the season. That win over the Saints sent Cincy to a 10-1 streak to close the season.
“This kind of feels like last year in New Orleans a little bit,” the QB said. “It means nothing, like I said earlier, it means nothing if you don’t go out there and build on it. We’re going to celebrate tonight, but get back out there and work tomorrow.”
The road gets more treacherous for the Bengals moving forward with a Week 6 game against Seattle. Cincy then comes out of a Week 7 bye with games against San Francisco, Buffalo, Houston, and Baltimore.
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