The 2021 NFL season was huge for the Cincinnati Bengals and their young franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. In only Burrow’s second year in the league, he led the Bengals to Super Bowl LVI – Cincy’s first trip to the big game since 1989. As much progress as the team made though, they fell short of their ultimate goal of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
As Cincinnati begins their offseason workout programs, they’re looking to build off last season’s AFC championship performance. The organization has already made large strides in the last year. In 2020, during Joe Burrow’s rookie campaign, the Bengals earned a paltry 4-11-1 record. Granted Burrow tore his ACL and MCL in late November, which sidelined him for the rest of the year. So things didn’t exactly go to plan his first year in Ohio as a pro. However, Cincy bounced back with a 10-7 record and an improbable playoff run that almost had a fairytale ending this past season.
The 24-year-old quarterback spoke with reporters on Tuesday for the first time since Cincinnati’s Super Bowl loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Burrow and the Bengals are hoping their playoff experience will provide them with the confidence to make another run to the title game.
“Going into last year, we knew we were good,” Joe Burrow said, according to ESPN. “But I think going into the playoffs, we knew we could win but we weren’t really sure what it took. We just went out there and played really hard and together as a team, and it worked out.
“Now, we know what it takes and we have that experience in our back pockets going forward.”
Bengals QB Joe Burrow ‘Moving On’ From Super Bowl Defeat
Voluntary workouts for players began this week in Cincinnati. The workouts mark the first time the team has worked together since their 23-20 loss to the Rams. While speaking to reporters in the same press conference, Bengals QB Joe Burrow addressed the heartbreaking defeat.
“I treat it like any other, any other loss,” Joe Burrow told reporters about Cincinnati’s Super Bowl defeat. “You know, I went through it that week, watched the film. Saw where I can get better, saw what we did well. Losing the Super Bowl is not fun. It’s not something we wanted to do, but I’ve put it behind me at this point and we’re moving on.”
While the residual feelings of a Super Bowl loss surely sting to this day, Burrow and his teammates are pressing forward. For years, the Cincinnati Bengals’ franchise has struggled to consistently make the playoffs. In fact, the organization has never had back-to-back seasons with playoff wins. Further, previous to last season, the team owned the longest drought without a playoff win in the NFL since they hadn’t won in the postseason since 1991.
Yet Burrow and the Bengals are building a winning culture in Cincinnati these days. Long gone are the seasons of mediocre expectations. This team now expects to be in the Super Bowl hunt every year.
“I mean going into the season, everyone’s starting from scratch,” Burrow added. “But we’ve also worked really hard to build this culture that we’ve built the last couple years that’s enabled us to have the success that we did last year. As far as the grinding, and the work we put in to build the culture, you know we’re looking to carry that momentum from last year into this year.”