Pro Bowler Joe Burrow recently became the highest-paid player in the NFL. But, the star quarterback has gotten off to a rough start this season.
He has thrown two touchdowns against two interceptions so far this season. Cincinnati have only managed to win one of their first four games, which appears to have prompted Burrow to classify the Week 5 game against the Arizona Cardinals as a must-win.
“We’ve got to win,” Burrow said Wednesday. “Whatever it takes. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but we have to come out with the W.”
Sunday’s game will not be in the friendly confines of Paycor Stadium. The Bengals have struggled on the road so far this season, which is something Burrow is well aware of.
“We haven’t had a road win yet,” Burrow said. “We pride ourselves on the road on playing really good football, good defense, good scheme. We need it for morale, we need it for our ranking, we need it for everything.”
The fourth-year quarterback has uncharacteristically struggled to put up points in the early portion of the season.
Burrow injured his calf during training camp, and he admitted that the leg injury has impacted his on-field performance. He has elected to mostly remain in the pocket during the first four games of the season.
“A big part of my game in the past has been stealing first downs with my legs here and there, depending on the situation, depending on the defense,” he said. “And I haven’t been able to do that, so I’ve got to find more ways to get those conversions where maybe I used my legs in the past.”
Burrow said he felt good at practice on Wednesday, though, and he hasn’t had any setbacks with the calf since aggravating the injury late in a loss to the Ravens on September 17. He’s optimistic that hhe will continue to improve.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks, that’s for sure,” he said. “We’re going to get through it. We’ve got tough, resilient guys in there. We’ve got mentally tough guys who have been through these situations. It’s tough right now, but we’re going to get through it.”
Bengals coach Zac Taylor said his team isn’t as far removed from last year’s success as it may appear.
“We’ve done a lot of really good things with this (same) personnel in the past,” Taylor said. “We know we’ve got a great operation in terms of his we prepare, how we practice. We’ve got to find more production.
“We’ll get everybody going in the right direction,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.