The Bengals have started the season 0-2, with quarterback Joe Burrow taking a whopping 13 sacks in the first two games.
But the young quarterback said on Wednesday that the sky isn’t falling.
“We’ve just got to stop beating ourselves,” Burrow said in his press conference. “The first game, first drive, pick-six. Next drive, fumble — give them 10 points off the bat and now we’re playing from behind. Defenses can pin their ears back, play third-down defense, don’t have to get up and challenge us. Same thing next game, we get down 14-3 early, starting in first-and-15s for the first three drives. And now they can play third-down defense, they can mix up the looks. They’re not afraid of the run game because they’re winning by 11 points.
“We’ve just got to quit beating ourselves, start faster, and then we’ll get more chances.”
But the team certainly has to address its pass protection, especially considering the investments the Bengals made in their offensive line over the offseason. Burrow said he’s “very comfortable” with the offensive line and can help out the unit by getting rid of the ball faster.
“Those guys are working hard to get right,” Burrow said. “I can do a lot more to help them, too. And we can do more with play-calling to help them as well. So, we’re getting this thing right. Nobody’s panicking.”
As Burrow later noted, the offensive unit has to be in sync as a whole.
“You can go and win on every route, but if you don’t have the protection, it doesn’t matter,” Burrow said. “And you can protect for as long as you want, but if you don’t go win, it doesn’t matter. It all works together.”
Burrow was close to going Full Aaron Rodgers when reiterating that while the team has a sense of urgency after starting 0-2, there’s no reason to go overboard.
“Myself, everyone is frustrated,” Burrow said. “But like I said, we’re not panicking. Two games in — we’ve got 15 games left. Let’s all just take a deep breath and relax. We’re going to be fine. We’re not worried about it.”
They’ll have a chance to start getting things right against the Jets on Sunday.