Joe Burrow Says that the Chiefs are the Team to Beat in the AFC

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Burrow Says Chiefs are Team to Beat, Mahomes Feeling Better, 49ers Injuries, and Other NFL Bullets


With the conference championship games just days away teams have returned to practice and media availabilities have begun. Joe Burrow and Zac Taylor spoke to the media on Wednesday. As did Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.

  • Joe Burrow said that the Bengals know what they’re up against this weekend in Kansas City. Burrow said that the Chiefs are still the team to beat in the AFC despite their success against them.

“We’ve been in these spots. We have the experience, we know what team we’re playing,” Burrow said. “A team that has been to this game the last five seasons, and they’ve all been in that stadium. So to me, they’re still the team to beat and we’re coming for them for them, but we know it’s going to be tough. We know it’s going to be hard fought, and we know the kind of players they have on that side.”

  • Despite Burrow’s humble words about this weekend’s matchup, the third-year quarterback is approaching historical territory. Burrow is one of three quarterbacks to win at least five playoff games in his first three seasons. At 5-1, he’s one win behind Russell Wilson for the most playoff wins in a quarterback’s first three seasons. A win on Sunday would tie Wilson and give Burrow the opportunity to win his seventh playoff game in three seasons in two weeks when the Bengals take on the winner of the NFC Championship at the Super Bowl.
  • The weather in Kansas City this Sunday will be frigid. Temperatures will dip as low as 12 degrees around kickoff. That would mark the coldest playoff game the Bengals have played since the AFC Championship in 1982 at old Riverfront Stadium.
  • It would also be the coldest game of the Burrow era in Cincinnati, slightly edging the Christmas Eve battle between the Bengals and Patriots this season. It was 17 degrees in New England at kickoff, but that didn’t slow Burrow down. He threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns.
  • On the injury front, right guard Alex Cappa (ankle) and left tackle Jonah Williams (knee) didn’t practice on Wednesday. However, Zac Taylor said that they were progressing. Center Ted Karras practiced in full. Cornerback Tre Flowers (hamstring) looks like a go this week despite missing last week.
  • Over on the Chiefs’ side of things, Patrick Mahomes spoke to the media and said that he was happy to get back on the field on Wednesday and test his sprained ankle.
  • There’s no doubt Mahomes will play on Sunday, but the Chiefs game plan will have to be different. They have to protect Mahomes as much as possible against an athletic Cincinnati pass rush.
  • Outside of Mahomes, Jerick McKinnon (ankle) and Willie Gay (toe) were full participants in Wednesday’s practice. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman (pelvis) was limited again.
  • Speaking of the Cowboys, they made some changes to Dan Quinn’s defensive staff on Wednesday. Senior defensive assistant George Edwards and assistant DL coach Leon Lett were let go. On offense, the Cowboys parted ways with running backs coach Skip Peete and offensive line coach Joe Philbin.
  • Cowboys’ linebacker Micah Parsons took to Twitter to thank George Edwards for everything he’s done for him in Dallas:
  • Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, and Elijah Mitchell all missed practice for the 49ers on Wednesday. Kyle Shanahan and Christian McCaffrey are scheduled to speak to the media today at 1:20 (CT).
  • In other news, the Jets have hired Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator. Hackett was fired by the Broncos last month, but he’s already found a new NFL home. This will surely fire up the Aaron Rodgers to New York speculation even more, I’m sure.
  • If you missed it yesterday, the PFWA announced their MVP and Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year award winners:
  • Is David Montgomery looking for a bigger deal than the Bears are willing to give him this offseason?
  • But seriously, what’s the deal with Zach LaVine’s hand?

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.