BENGALS QUARTERBACK JOE BURROW
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
December 24, 2022
JB: It was up and down to say the least. I'm never going to apologize for winning. Obviously a lot of room to improve. First half was about as good as it gets, and then after that we kind of shot ourselves in the foot over and over and over again. But found a way to do it.
Q: Kind of what happened on those two interceptions? Was it just miscommunication?
JB: We'll have to watch the film and see. I'll have a better answer for you on Wednesday.
Q: When La'el Collins went down, how did that kind of affect things? How did Hakeem Adeniji step up in that spot?
JB: Yeah, Hakeem stepped up big for us, played well. L.C. has been playing out of this world for us, and we love to have him. Hopefully we'll see him back before the year is out.
Q: There's been like decades of precedent that New England would find a way to win games like this. What does it maybe say about you all that maybe you didn't play as well as you'd like in the second half that you were able to find a way to come out with a win?
JB: Defense found a way to win, they forced a turnover to win us the game. They continue to make plays like that at the ends of games. We've got to do a better job on offense of putting teams away. Like I said, I'm never going to apologize for a win. Just got to keep finding ways to do it.
Q: You guys clinched the playoffs on Thursday. It seemed like you guys it was business as usual, didn't seem to cause much of a ripple. Guess you expected to be there, right?
JB: That was never the goal. It's always nice to clinch it this early, but bigger and better things ahead.
Q: What does it say about this team's ability, your team's ability to play complementary football? When the offense isn't generating what it needs to generate, the defense the second time since the Kansas City game creates a big turnover at the end.
JB: They've been unreal all year and one of the best defenses in the league and make it hard on opposing offenses. You're a quarterback of a team like this with a defense like we have makes my job easy.
Q: Is that a miscommunication on the two picks to Boyd and to Chase?
JB: We'll just have to watch the film and see.
Q: Sorry if you talked about Trenton Irwin already, but the job that he continues to do in big moments.
JB: Yeah, he's been stepping up big for us. So happy for him. He continues to make big time plays, big time catches, does exactly what he's supposed to do. He's a guy who I hope is here for a long time.
Q: Does it ever get this cold in Athens?
JB: I'm sure it's just about as cold right now.
Q: Do you think that's the coldest you've played in?
JB: Yeah, for sure.
Q: You looked at home. You looked like – you didn't have gloves.
JB: I was happy with the way we threw the ball. Obviously we had close to 400 yards. We were on point in the first half. Obviously could do a lot better in the second.
Q: Why no gloves?
JB: Never have. I wear them on the sideline to keep my hands warm, but out there I don't like to.
Q: You've won games different ways. Is there a way winning a game in different types of ways can help you guys out?
JB: Any win you get, you learn from. Same as with a loss. We're going to watch the film, get back to practice. And make our corrections.
Q: What stood out to you about their defense overall? In the second half, what adjustments did they make?
JB: They make it tough on you. They're well coached. They have a good scheme. They've got good players. I've got to give them credit.
Q: Does it mean something to come in here on a cold day and beat a Bill Belichick defense?
JB: Whenever you get a win in December coming down the stretch, it means something. We're playing for a lot every single game. We're going to go out there and fight our tails off to get Ws, and we got one today.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to him after the game, Belichick?
JB: I did not. I saw Coach Patricia. It was good to see him.
Q: They're down two starting cornerbacks coming in. What kind of went into exploiting those matchups and everything?
JB: I feel really confident in our guys down the field. I'm going to give those shots to just about anybody. I wouldn't say it really matters who they have out there. If they're down the field in one-on-one situations, I'm going to give them a shot.
Q: What were you thinking when you were watching that final drive by the Patriots? Just how important is Vonn Bell to this team and the plays he makes?
JB: That was a stressful situation. Obviously I feel like we shouldn't have been in that situation if we took care of business, but we made the play when it counts. Vonn has continued to do that his entire career really. He's a guy I feel like should have made the Pro Bowl with all the plays that he's made this year.
Q: Is this the kind of game that championship teams should be able to win if you are going to accomplish what you want to accomplish?
JB: Yes, you could say that. I would also say teams that want to win a Super Bowl put them away a little earlier.
Q. What – referring to Irwin, what made them play that for the touchdown?
JB: Well, they were subbing late, so we tried to get on the ball and go quickly to catch him at the 12, and they did a good job with getting their guys off. I feel like they were a little out of position. So we went ahead and snapped it, and Trenton made a great read and a great play down the field.
Q: Why did that first drive, when you guys came out no problems, five plays, right down the field? Was it something you saw or took advantage of?
JB: Zac [Taylor] did a great job of calling plays really all day. We always feel good about our opening script. So I think we've been pretty good on our first possessions most of the year.
Q: It's okay Teddy Karras lost the toss?
JB: Last year we won all of our tosses, and this year we're losing all of our tosses. So the luck has reversed.
Q: Do you let Teddy go up by himself a lot?
JB: I don't really like going up there. I like to warm up on the side and get my mind right rather than go out and do the coin toss.
Q: Zac talked about that knockout blow, something you just referenced. What's the key to making sure you all are able to do that, since you've got a couple of opponents, you're going to be facing really good teams the rest of the way?
JB: We've just got to execute the way we need to, like we did in the first half like we know we're capable of doing and have proved we can. The game just got away from us a little bit.
Q: Are you able to process the game – obviously you're happy you won, but does how it ended up in the second half kind of take away from the joy you feel?
JB: You try hard to not let it. I've only been in the league three years, but I've played enough football to know that it's hard to win in this league. So I'm fighting being upset when we go out and get a win and we have almost 500 yards of offense. So you balance those. Obviously you're upset when you don't feel like you did everything you could on offense to score as many points as possible to make it easier on the team. But we also came out with a win. We've got a long weekend, so I'm not going to let it weigh me down. I'm going to enjoy it. We're going to watch the film and make corrections.
Q: Higgins just seems to me in these matchups today, he's just so big. The two biggest throws up the middle, probably the first one to him and the second one to him.
JB: Yeah, he's been awesome. He's a guy that I got a lot of reps with. He came into the league three years ago and really had a great connection. I'm lucky to have all of our receivers that we have.
Q: Joe, you talk about your mindset to kind of dictate as opposed to react. How important is that in the success you've had to not worry about the defense and find your guys?
JB: Yeah, you always have that balance because when you play defenses and defensive coaches with really good schemes, you want to get a feel for what they're doing early, but you also don't want to come out and not be aggressive and play slowly and try to take what the defense gives you. I think we did that early. We took some shots and the team made some big plays for us early, and we went down and scored a touchdown. It's always tough when you play a good scheme like that, and you've got to stay aggressive.
Q: On the touchdown return, are you aware of trying to stay away from guys knowing they might try to take a free shot at you?
JB: Say that again?
Q: The guy is trying to return the interception for the touchdown. You're trying to make a tackle, but are you worried about guys taking free shots at that point? How do you weigh those things when it's happening in the moment?
JB: I'm trying to get the guy down unfortunately. I hit somebody. I'm not sure who it was. It obviously wasn't the ball carrier. Tried to get him down, but it didn't work.
Q: You guys were so good with that play, you and Ja'Marr Chase, that back shoulder has been so good. Was it shocking it turned out the way it did?
JB: That wasn't that route on that play. We'll just watch the film and make corrections.