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Joe Burrow: Our window is always open because the window is my whole career

Steve Kornacki runs through which teams have been eliminated from the playoff race in Week 18 and dives into Wild Card matchups for both the AFC and NFC.

The Bengals clinched the AFC North title last week after Monday night’s game officially was canceled. They celebrated Sunday after ensuring a home playoff game following a change in the NFL rules that would have resulted in a coin flip for home field if the Bengals had lost.

They won, donning division championship T-shirts and hats afterward and smoking cigars bought by quarterback Joe Burrow for the occasion.

That’s our standard now,” Burrow said, via Paul Dehner Jr. of “We’re going to celebrate it every single time we do it. We’re going to smoke our cigars and wear our T-shirts and hats, but we expect that every year.”

Burrow also expects to be a Super Bowl contender every single year.

The franchise has never won a Lombardi Trophy, but then, the Bengals didn’t have Burrow as their quarterback until drafting him No. 1 overall in 2020. He led them to the AFC title last year.

“The window is my whole career,” Burrow said.

He’s right: The Bengals, like the Patriots had with Brady, the Chiefs have with Mahomes and the Packers have with Rodgers, should go into every season among the Super Bowl favorites. It won’t surprise anyone if the Bengals reach the Super Bowl again this year. It now is the expectation and the standard.

“Everybody that we have in that locker room — all the coaches we have — things are going to change year to year,” Burrow said, “but our window is always open.”