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CINCINNATI – Bengals quarterback Joe Burrows’ first words after the team’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings were aimed right at the discourse surrounding rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
“I thought he dropped everything,” Burrow sarcastically lurked moments after walking past Chase before speaking to the media at his press conference.
Chase, who was battling relegation in the preseason, had a team-high catch of 101 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals ’27-24 overtime win at Paul Brown Stadium.
The fifth overall pick in this year’s draft said he was aware of all the talk around his catchy miseries and dismissed it all as “trash”. After the match, Chase said he was sure he would perform when it counts.
“I know I would do it,” Chase said. “It was just a matter of time. Just play my game and focus on what I came here to do, and that was what I did.”
Chase had no downfall in his NFL debut, which ended up being the most productive of a Bengals rookie in a season opener. He broke the Bengals’ franchise record for receiving yards in a debut previously set by Jordan Shipley (82 yards in 2010). The former LSU product had his biggest game of the game as he went down on the right sideline and pulled a 50-yard catch to a touchdown with 35 seconds left in the first half, after which he made his signature “Griddy” dance in the end zone.
“I thought I delivered,” said the Bengals, who ran back Joe Mixon. “That was what we chose him for.”
Questions about Chase’s catching ability were one of the dominant stories during his rookie training camp. Last week, Chase commented on the difference between the balls in college and the NFL, which also got a few headlines.
However, that was not all media talk. Burrow said he was contacted this week by some who said they hoped Chase would play well on Sunday. Burrow simply pulled out the worries of his former LSU teammate and told them not to worry. “It’s Sunday, it’s game day,” Burrow said, remembering that conversation. “He’s getting ready to play.”