February 21, 2024
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After lacking the playoffs for 5 straight seasons, the Cincinnati Bengals earned their spot within the Tremendous Bowl in 2022 for the primary time for the reason that 1988 season. The next 12 months, they superior to the AFC Championship sport. 

However this 12 months, hampered by accidents together with the lack of beginning quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals missed the postseason. 

Ja’Marr Chase #1, Joe Burrow #9 and Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals sit within the entrance for the Cincinnati Bengals group photograph at UCLA’s Drake Stadium on February 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Pictures)

Regardless of what the tip outcome would possibly seem like, the Bengals solely narrowly missed the playoffs. For the third consecutive 12 months, they completed with a profitable report – largely due to their strategy to the “subsequent man up” mentality. 

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“I feel Jake (Browning) has confirmed himself to be a beginning quarterback on this league,” star large receiver Tee Higgins instructed Fox Information Digital in an interview this week. 

“Clearly, the end result wasn’t what we wished, postseason-wise, however the way in which that he got here in and stepped up and gained video games for us, it reveals for himself that he belongs.”

A number of gamers hit particular person milestones, together with elite wideout Ja’Marr Chase who achieved a career-high 100 receptions and was named a Professional Bowler for the third straight 12 months. 

“Their character can’t be questioned. What they went by way of and what they gave us this 12 months, I’m so happy with them for persevering with to remain collectively,” head coach Zac Taylor mentioned after defeating the Cleveland Browns, who rested their starters forward of the playoffs.  

Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals excessive fives Ja’Marr Chase #1 on the sector previous to an NFL soccer sport towards the Buffalo Payments at Paycor Stadium on January 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Pictures)

“You by no means noticed anybody level fingers.”

FROM OUTKICK: TEE HIGGINS’ MOM SAVAGELY ROASTS THE BENGALS WIDE RECEIVER’S HATERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Additionally talking to Fox Information Digital, Chase described the season as a “curler coaster” 

“Simply going through loads of adversity. We had loads of totally different individuals going through accidents, we had individuals preventing for positions this 12 months.” 

Regardless of lacking the playoffs, Chase maintained an optimistic view of the season as a complete. 

“General, it was a terrific 12 months for us. Simply, truthfully, having that state of affairs with Joe after which Jake stepping up after which making his personal future.” 

For his personal success, Chase is aware of he’s on the precise path. 

“It didn’t go as easy as I assumed it could’ve went this 12 months, however I do know I’m transferring in the precise path with simply catches, simply getting yards, and simply attempting to assist the group out. You already know, when Joe went down it made it just a little bit tough simply to get used to the offense, attempting to regulate to play with Jake.” 

Ja'Marr Chase gets tackled

Ja’Marr Chase #1 of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled by Vincent Grey #31 of the Cleveland Browns at Paycor Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Andy Lyons/Getty Pictures)

BENGALS’ JAKE BROWNING: ‘I FEEL LIKE I’M ONE OF THE TOP 32 QUARTERBACKS IN THE WORLD’

However the Bengals are going through a busy offseason, with a number of contracts set to finish. Chase shall be eligible for an extension for the primary time, whereas Higgins is about to hit free company alongside fellow receiver Tyler Boyd.

Taylor mentioned throughout his finish of season press convention this week that each one these conversations are being had. He expressed his ideas on Higgins’ state of affairs, saying “It’s arduous to think about life with out Tee Higgins.”

“These are all conversations we’ll proceed to have upstairs,” he continued. “Tee is an enormous a part of what we’re doing and it’d be arduous to think about him not being right here.” 

Talking to Fox Information Digital, Higgins expressed an analogous sentiment. 

“It means rather a lot. It means they need me, clearly, on the group subsequent 12 months. However individuals have instructed me – like my agent has instructed me, it’s not in my fingers. There’s solely three choices that might occur: tag me, signal me long run, or let me stroll in free company. So it’s actually upstairs, and for me, I say it’s in God’s fingers. So, I simply sit again, calm down, keep wholesome, keep in form and be prepared for no matter end result it’s.”

Tee Higgins gets tackled

Tee Higgins #5 of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled by Jaylen Watson #35 of the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in the course of the first quarter at GEHA Area at Arrowhead Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri.   (David Eulitt/Getty Pictures)

“Simply understanding that is my third 12 months, going into my fourth 12 months, I’ve an opportunity to do one thing,” Chase added of his offseason strategy. “Simply being prepared for when Joe’s able to throw once more, that’s actually the most important factor this offseason. Making an attempt to construct the chemistry again up since he simply had surgical procedure and, similar to Tee mentioned, simply staying in form that’s actually the most important factor.” 

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Chase and Higgins spoke to Fox Information Digital on behalf of Bounty in promotion of their Bounty/Wingman marketing campaign forward of Tremendous Bowl LVIII. 

The dynamic duo put their friendship to the check within the newest episode of “Wingman Tales,” the place they quizzed each other on their wingman data and shared a few of their favourite soccer moments. 

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