Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow had a clear message for everyone after the Bengals' win over the Tennessee Titans: "We are not the underdogs." On Saturday, the Bengals claimed a 19-16 win over the Titans at Nissan Stadium to progress into the AFC Championship Game.
"I'm tired of the underdog narrative," Bengals quarterback Burrow said after the game, per ESPN. "We're a really, really good team. We're here to make noise." Bengals kicker Evan McPherson kicked a game-winning 52-yard field goal as the time expired.
"He [McPherson] gave a little warmup swing and he said, 'Ahh, looks like we're going to the AFC championship,'" Burrow said after the game.
Burrow leading the Bengals to playoff success
"That's just kind of what he preached to everyone," Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson said.
"He's our leader, so everyone's going to believe anything he says. He's our ride or die." The Bengals have now been through to their first AFC Championship Game since 1988. "This is the expectation for this team," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said.
"This is not too big for these guys. I know we haven't been here before, but it sure feels like we have. You just see the attitude of this team and the confidence of this team that we're going to find a way to win."
Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader felt the Bengals were getting disrespected by the experts the entire season. "As a journalist, do you want somebody to doubt your ability to do your job?" Reader said after the game.
"No. It's disrespectful. You gotta go out there and get it and take it. You gotta earn respect, though." With the team's "Why not us?" tag now finished, Wilson asked Reader what the new motto will be.
Reader wasted no time with a response: "It is us." Said Reader, a few minutes later: "We're confident in us. We feel like we [are] them. We're the people. We're going out there every game, feeling like we're confident, we're the ones that need to get beat."