Berliner Boersenzeitung - Bengals ace Burrow has eye of the tiger for Super Bowl test

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Bengals ace Burrow has eye of the tiger for Super Bowl test
Bengals ace Burrow has eye of the tiger for Super Bowl test

Bengals ace Burrow has eye of the tiger for Super Bowl test

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has brushed off the hype surrounding his fairytale first Super Bowl, insisting he remains firmly focused on beating the Los Angeles Rams and little else.

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The 25-year-old could craft a Hollywood ending worthy of this year's Super Bowl host city on Sunday when the Bengals face the star-studded Rams in their $5.5 billion SoFi Stadium home.

Burrow has led the Bengals to the Ohio franchise's first Super Bowl since 1989 in only his second season in the NFL.

More impressively, the former Heisman Trophy winner has done it after bouncing back from a rookie campaign cut short by a devastating knee injury.

In the playoffs, Burrow showed his pedigree by leading the Bengals to road wins over the top-seeded Tennessee Titans and the mighty Kansas City Chiefs.

Another victory on Sunday would complete a remarkable turnaround for the Bengals, who only two seasons ago finished with a dismal 2-14 record.

But while the narrative surrounding the Bengals has all the makings of a blockbuster, Burrow says his attention is fixed solely on Sunday's game.

"I haven't really thought about any of that," Burrow said Monday when asked about his route to the Super Bowl.

"I've been focused on game prep and trying to eliminate as many distractions as I can.

"With a Super Bowl in LA, everyone has distractions, and you're going to get pulled in different directions.

"The team that handles those distractions the best is going to end up winning the game."

- 'Bungles' no more -

It's the sort of steely mindset that has characterised Burrow's play throughout the postseason.

With a Super Bowl less than a week away, Burrow said he is determined to seize the chance before him.

"You've got to take advantage of your opportunities when you get there," Burrow said Monday.

"You see guys who go their whole career without ever getting to the Super Bowl. So when you do get there you have to hunker down and take advantage of those opportunities."

The Bengals lost their previous two Super Bowl appearances in 1989 and 1982, and until this season had not won a playoff game in more than 30 years, the longest drought in the NFL.

Burrow however says his team-mates on a franchise once dubbed the "Bungles" have little time for the weight of history.

"We have a really young team who doesn't really understand the historical significance of what we're doing," Burrow said. "We're just out there playing football and getting better while we’re doing it."

Burrow, who is also from Ohio, does admit though to taking pride about being able to give long-suffering Bengals fans something to cheer about.

"Being from Ohio, and being the quarterback of the Bengals is something I'm really proud of," Burrow said.

"Growing up there really weren't a lot of Bengals fans in high school and middle school. It was all Steelers and Browns. There were a few Bengals fans here and there that got made fun of.

"So as a team we're excited to be able to put a product on the field that the fans are proud of that gives them bragging rights.

"They haven’t had that in a while."

(T.Burkhard--BBZ)