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Joe Burrow: These big games are the reason I play football

Mike Florio and Peter King break down the strong stable of wide receivers on both sides in the AFC Championship matchup between the Bengals and Chiefs.

Since quarterback Joe Burrow burst onto the national stage as LSU’s quarterback in 2019, he’s played some of his best games in the biggest contests.

That’s been the case in Burrow’s second season as a pro. When the Bengals needed a victory over the Chiefs in Week 17 to clinch the AFC North, Burrow threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns in the 34-31 victory. The week before he threw for 525 yards and four TDs against Baltimore to set up the clinching scenario.

In two postseason games, he’s completed 73 percent of his passes for 592 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He’s averaging 8.3 yards per attempt and 11.4 yards per completion.

Burrow will need another strong performance to defeat the Chiefs on the road this week. But the quarterback’s attitude toward big games has him primed for a strong performance.

“These are the reason that I play football,” Burrow said Friday, via Paul Dehner Jr. of “I play to get to these moments and to make plays and take advantage of my opportunities. I work really hard for these moments. If I worked really hard and never got to the position I am in now, playing in the AFC Championship game [with a] chance to go to the Super Bowl, I think that would be tough for me to mentally work as hard as I do each week in the offseason to come in and go .500 every year and be a fringe playoff team. I work so hard so I get to these moments and play well.”

With Burrow in place, it doesn’t look like Cincinnati is going to be a middling, .500 team anytime soon.