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Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase: Get Used to It

Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase
Photo courtesy of Dylan Buell/Getty Images.

If the playoffs had started today, the Cincinnati Bengals would have home-field advantage throughout the entire postseason. Who foreshadowed that at the beginning of the season?

When Cincinnati’s front office stated that they were interested in selecting wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase out of LSU, it was not received as a popular move to make. Numerous analysts and sports talk personalities preferred that the Bengals select offensive tackle Penei Sewell out of Oregon.

The narrative for selecting Sewell started because of how poorly Joe Burrow was protected during his rookie season. His 2020 rookie campaign was cut short due to suffering a season-ending injury against the Washington Football Team. The front office believed that they did enough to address their issues on the offensive line, so they decided not to select Sewell and take Chase instead.

So far, the Bengals have made the right decision to choose the former LSU Tiger. Due to the production of Burrow and Chase, the Bengals are now on top of the AFC North. It all occurred after they went down to MT&T Bank Stadium and knocked off the Baltimore Ravens for first place in the division.

For a moment, the game had the billing of having a classic finish until the Bengals gained momentum and never looked back. The contest against Baltimore is where Cincinnati put the league on notice of how dangerous the Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase connection will be as we advance. Burrow targeted  Chase on eight passes, 201 yards, and one touchdown score. Overall, he would finish the day with 417 yards passing, three touchdowns, and a quarterback rating of 113.5.

As for Chase, he broke Speedy Thomas’ franchise rookie record of 177 receiving yards, set in a 1969 game at Denver. “We’ve got so many weapons, the defense is playing great ball right now,” Chase said. “I think the sky is the limit for us.” The fifth overall selection in the 2021 draft is having a historic season for a rookie wide receiver. His 754 receiving yards are the most in league history for the first seven career games. Chase is currently ranked second behind Cooper Kupp in the league for receiving yards.

Cincinnati already had the potential to have a dangerous offense with players such as Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and C.J. Uzomah. Selecting Chase elevated the unit to another level. Their next five opponents are the Jets, Browns, Steelers, Raiders, and Chargers. Those five games will determine how long the Bengals will keep their control of the AFC North.

However, with the presence of Burrow and Chase on the field, Cincinnati should feel confident about their chances. The biggest takeaway from the Bengals selecting Chase is that no matter how the optics look outside, a team will always do what is best for the organization. Ignoring the outside noise is crucial for the growth of a successful NFL franchise. 

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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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