The game of football is decided on the field, and, minus the aspect of human error, is a pretty mechanical, objective result. You either win or lose, score more points or fewer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to have fun while doing it, and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is a young player who enjoys the game—and enjoys when his opponents do, too.
Particularly, he has grown fond already of playing the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals’ division rival. Why? Because they’re talkers, he said on the Full Send podcast, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, who transcribed the quarterback’s comments.
“They talk. I love that”, he said, recalling one game in particular in which the score “was a lot to a little. I threw for 520-something in the second one and I threw for 400-something in the first one. Ja’Marr [Chase] had like 260-something yards the first game. Yeah, I love playing the Ravens. They like to talk. I don’t start the talking, but I usually — if somebody pokes me, I can talk a little bit”.
The Bengals got the better of Baltimore in both games last year, and in both cases, by a substantial margin. In the first game, on October 24, Cincinnati cleared the Ravens by a score of 41-17. A couple months later, on December 26, they won again, 41-21.
The first was the game in which Chase, their first-round draft pick, caught eight passes for 201 yards and a touchdown—an 82-yard touchdown, in the third quarter, to be exact. This was actually a close game for most of the run. Indeed, the Ravens led 17-13 early in the third quarter, before the Bengals scored 28 unanswered.
That was a key game, which tied both teams at 5-2 at the time at the top of the AFC North standings. The Ravens would rebound, going 3-1 over their next three games to remain atop the conference with six games left to play before the bottom fell out from underneath them.
The two played again in the third-to-last week of the season, by then the Bengals with an 8-6 record, and the Ravens matching, but already on a three-game losing streak and Lamar Jackson out for his third straight game.
This one was less pretty. It was 31-14 by halftime, and a Josh Johnson-led Ravens offense could only muster one second-half score with their season on the line. Of course, they were down to their third-string quarterback at that point. And their secondary was completely ravaged by injuries.
Still, it’s never easy to throw for 525 yards against an NFL defense under any circumstances, and Burrow did that. This time, it was Tee Higgins with the big day, catching 12 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns, though Chase also had 125 yards on seven catches. Not a bad year for the rookie against the Ravens.