“Why not us” has been the Bengals’ rallying cry for the 2021 season. The phrase, which was first uttered during training camp by tight end C.J. Uzomah, had already been printed on T-shirts prior to the Bengals’ 26-19 triumph over the Raiders in the AFC wild card round, a win that ended Cincinnati’s 31-year drought without a postseason victory. 

Cincinnati’s resurgence has been led by coach Zac Taylor and quarterback Joe Burrow. This time a year ago, Taylor received a public vote of confidence by team owner Mike Brown after he went 6-25-1 during his first two seasons. Taylor has rewarded Brown’s faith in him by leading the franchise to its best season since the franchise represented the AFC in Super Bowl XXIII. Taylor has benefited from the play of Burrow, who led the NFL in completion percentage during his first full season under center. In last week’s win over the Raiders, the unflappable Burrow completed nearly 71% of his throws that included touchdown passes to Uzomah and receiver Tyler Boyd. 

The Bengals will now take their act to Nashville with the hope of delivering the franchise’s first road playoff victory. In order to do that, Cincinnati will have to defeat a Titans team that is rested and healthy after playing without most of its key offensive players throughout the regular season. 

Here are three reasons why the Bengals will defy the odds by taking down the AFC’s top-seeded team, starting with the player that has been dubbed “Joe Cool.” 

Joe Burrow 

Burrow’s favorite player growing up was Drew Brees, who immediately brought credibility to the Saints upon arriving in New Orleans in 2006. Burrow has had a nearly identical impact in Cincinnati, as the Bengals believe they can play with and beat the NFL’s premier teams. Cincinnati proved it in Week 17 by overcoming a 14-0 deficit to knock off Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Despite sharing the field with Mahomes, Burrow…

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