Fresh off the organization’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1989, the Cincinnati Bengals entered the 2022 NFL season with sky-high expectations.
With quarterback Joe Burrow entering his third season and second with star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, many predicted an even better team following Cincinnati’s surprise Super Bowl run.
It hasn’t happened. The Bengals are off to an 0-2 start to the season, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys.
Burrow has been sacked a league-high 13 times and threw four interceptions in Cincinnati’s Week 1 loss to Pittsburgh.
But the one-time Heisman Trophy winner has a message for all those hitting the panic button after the slow start: Relax.
“Everyone is frustrated,” Burrow told reporters Wednesday. “But, like I said, we’re not panicking. Two games in, and we have 15 games left. Let’s all just take a deep breath and relax. We’re going to be fine. We’re not worried about it.”
Cincinnati has lost both games by just three points, losing to the Cowboys on a 50-yard field goal as time expired.
The Bengals will be looking for their first win in Week 3 against the New York Jets, who are 1-1 after coming back from a 13-point deficit with under two minutes to play against the Cleveland Browns.
“Obviously, we have to go out and play well this week and get a win,” Burrow added. “But, like I said, we’re not panicking. We’re focused on one week at a time.”
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor followed up Burrow’s comments by saying pressure comes with high expectations.
“We’ve been begging for expectations, we’ve been begging for high standards and now they’re here,” Taylor said Wednesday. “And this is part of it. When you start out slower than what you hoped and what people anticipated, then you’re going to deal with that.
“I love it that fans in the city expect more, I would hope. That’s awesome.”