On fourth down in the middle of the second quarter, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow heard the team was going for it and then looked up at the crowd. He waved his arms downward to shush the crowd, and the 66,277 fans immediately fell silent.
Burrow called an audible at the line of scrimmage and moved to take a quarterback sneak. Then he signaled for wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to motion to the middle of the field, tossed the ball to Chase and watched him run for an easy first down.
Burrow played like he had the entire game and had the entire stadium in the palm of his hand. He had a full grasp of the moment and the 31-year stretch without a playoff win for the franchise.
The Bengals drafted Burrow to change everything in moments like this. On Saturday, as the Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders, 26-19, Burrow delivered exactly the way the franchise envisioned.
“It’s exciting for the city and for the state but we’re not going to dwell on that,” Burrow said. “We’re moving forward. We’re ready for whoever we’ve got to play next.”
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow passes under pressure from Raiders defensive end Solomon Thomas in the first half.
This time, there was no errant pass, no fumble and no penalty that derailed the moment.
There was no ACL injury, no locker room disruption. The longest drought without a playoff win in all of North American sports is over.
“I was kind of overcome with a little bit of emotion after the game,” Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah said. “This is what you work for. For it to be this long and this hard, it’s just been a long time coming.”
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With 14:17 left in the fourth quarter, Burrow got the ball with the Bengals leading by a touchdown. He demonstrated the calm presence and the clutch factor the Bengals were hoping for when they drafted him. Burrow used all of his…