Joe Barrow led the Cincinnati Bengals from underdogs to the Super Bowl… now one of the NFL’s hottest players, whose rookie season ended in disaster, is looking to beat the Los Angeles Rams in their own backyard.
- Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday
- Joe Burrow has become the face of the Bengals franchise.
- Quarterback takes Cincinnati on the cusp of first-ever Lombardi Trophy
- Burrow was selected first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
For the Cincinnati Bengals to win their first Super Bowl, they need one player to make their mark on the show.
In just his second season in the NFL, Joe Burrow changed the fortunes of the franchise when he faced the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Burrow’s 2020 rookie pick campaign ended in just his 10th NFL game when he tore his anterior and medial cruciate ligaments.
Joe Burrow will lead the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI Sunday in Los Angeles.
But the 25-year-old has bounced back both physically and mentally, showing no scars from injury while riding the magic carpet during the season.
He has proven himself capable of great shots, devastating runs and inspiring play, and he manages to be as likable off the pitch as he is on it. Both teammates and rivals speak enthusiastically about him.
“If you look up the word ‘tough’ in the dictionary, it should only be his picture,” said Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
As for Burrow, he likes to play a key role in the game. “I love playing quarterback the most…the NFL has great players in every position, but few of them really make a big difference,” he said.
The 25-year-old has become one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks this season.
Burrow has also emerged as the face of the New Bengal franchise.
“Quarterback is the only position on the field that can really affect the game in every play. I like to have the ball in my hands every game and be able to win or lose with me.”
When you read this, it may scold. But if you listen to Barrow, you like him and root for him.
Having won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship with Louisiana State University in his senior year of college football, he could join namesakes Namath and Montana as the only quarterbacks to complete the triumvirate.
He also could have given the Bengals their first Super Bowl win since the franchise lost in 1982 and 1989, their two previous appearances.
Burrow could only become the third player along with Joe Namath and Joe Montana (above) to win the Super Bowl after winning the Heisman Trophy and the college football national title.
Much-maligned Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke also controls the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams won it once, in 2000, 10 years before Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke bought the intimidated franchise for a $750m discount (£553m). He moved them back to Los Angeles from St. Louis in 2016, and the value of the Rams skyrocketed.
But their popularity has not yet reached its peak. Stripped of an NFL team for 22 years after they moved after the 1994 season, most Los Angeles fair weather fans lean towards the Raiders as their team.
Although currently based in Las Vegas, the Raiders became part of Los Angeles folklore between 1982 and 1994, and their black and silver colors became synonymous with street culture and the NWA rap group.
As a result, more fans regularly attend Rams home games than those who play in the team’s signature blue and yellow colors. Nothing will change in California today when they need to stop a player that Beckham Jr. thinks will be one of the best in history. He will become one of the greats,” he said. “I really believe in it.
Under Sean McVeigh (left), the Rams won their second Super Bowl in four years.