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"I Am Who I Thought I Was" - Joe Burrow Invokes Denny Green To Explain Why He's Been Such A Stud Without Ja'Marr Chase

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Prior to about a month ago, the only ignorant argument you'd hear from whichever Joe Burrow doubters and haters remained on the World Wide Web was that his elite receiving corps has carried him to any and all of his NFL accomplishments to date. 

Not only is that one of the worst all-time takes to ever take, but we now have enough hard data to prove it's patently untrue.

And Joe Brr knows it. In case for some sad reason you're unaware who or what he's referring to, may I take you back to the late, great coach Denny Green when he delivered an all-time soundbite about blowing a massive lead:

In this past Sunday's 37-30 win at Pittsburgh that wasn't as close as the final score would suggest, Burrow took over in the second half after the Bengals trailed 24-20 at the break. His counterpart Kenny Pickett played his best half in the NFL to date, yet even without the services of Chase and starting tailback Joe Mixon, Joey B was downright surgical.

You can talk shit about Bengals fans all you want. We're a largely respectful bunch. I encourage any casual observer who's interested in the reigning AFC champs to jump in one of the Twitter Spaces. IDK what kinda weird shit Elon Musk is ultimately up to atop the tweeting company's masthead, but Who Dey Nation spits facts and backs them up. We're emboldened in part by the great fortune of having Joe Burrow as our quarterback.

Bear in mind those two drives of 90+ that Burrow executed was with a fully healthy Steelers defense that featured TJ Watt snatching yet another insane interception near the line of scrimmage to pair with the physics-defying one he got off Burrow in Week 1.

Before you downplay how hard it is to win in Pittsburgh, let me drop this on you: Mike Tomlin just fell to 15-4-3 ATS and 13-9 SU as a home underdog. That dates back all the way to 2007, and the Steelers are tops in the NFL in both those areas.

AND if you feel compelled to shit on the Bengals and force them to apologize for kicking the Panthers' collective teeth in for 35 first-half points prior to the bye, keep that same energy when you talk about how vastly superior the AFC North-leading Ravens are even though they only managed 13 points on that same Carolina defense in Week 11.

Silver lining of Chase's injury: The Bengals managed to evolve their offense in his absence. Now, according to Joe Cool himself, the elite WR1 is on track to return for Sunday's AFC Divisional Round rematch in Tennessee against the Titans. While I have nothing but respect for Mike Vrabel and how he squeezes every bit of production out of that entire Titans team, the strides Cincinnati has made of late, combined with the playoff upset in the last meeting, make them a worthy 1.5-point road favorite.

Oh and the totally overhauled Bengals offensive line that I gassed up in my very first Barstool Sports blog is really jelling at this point. This ain't the same unit that allowed Burrow to be sacked nine times in that aforementioned postseason duel with the Titans. Vrabel and Co. better come up with something special to get home. Otherwise, the data suggests Burrow is gonna do WORK no matter who he's throwing to.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok