On Sunday, the Denver Broncos will enter their latest must-win game. This time it comes against the Cincinnati Bengals, who pose a real challenge to the Broncos’ playoff hopes.
While the Bengals’ defense is impressive in its own right, the offense remains to be the headline-grabbing unit, captained by a burgeoning young star quarterback in Joe Burrow.
“He’s a really good player,” Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell told the media Thursday. “He’s very complete. He’s a guy that sees downfield, and he has good pocket presence. He’s the son of a longtime successful college defensive coordinator, so he’s lived around defenses. He knows how they think. He’s just a really good young player.”
Vic Fangio made sure to highlight the Bengals’ talented group of wide receivers, while still paying respect to the playmaker that Burrow is.
“[Burrow]’s got great receivers,” Fangio said. “Not only are they really, really good but they’ve got size. They’re all big as receivers go, they’re fast, they all [have] good hands, [and] they’re friendly to a quarterback with their size and their hands. Their tight ends are good, and they’ve got good backs too so there’s no doubt he’s helped by that but he’s the type of quarterback that makes other people better too.”
One receiver to watch, in particular, is Ja’Marr Chase, who has taken the league by storm in his rookie campaign. Part of his dominance this season has to do with the seemingly psychic connection he and Burrow built up during their time together at LSU.
“One: you have to stay on top of this guy. You can’t give him the long ball in this game,” Donatell said when asked how you defend the magical connection. “Then when the play breaks down, especially in the red zone, they have a little bit of magic where they find and they connect. So, we have to be on point there.”
No matter who wins, this matchup is sure to be a thriller.