There are some things in life that go together hand-in-hand perfectly. For example, who does not love peanut butter and jelly on a sandwich? What about eggs and ham or a nice cold beer on a summer’s day? It is almost like some things are meant to be together.
One such match made in heaven is happening right now at the Cincinnati Bengals, the blossoming duo of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. This quarterback-wide receiver combination is terrifying NFL defenses and has the potential to fire the Bengals to another Super Bowl.
Partnerships in sports are nothing new; they have occurred since the start of time. Head coaches often return to their old teams to acquire coaching staff and players. You only have to look at former Chicago Fire midfielder and New York Red Bulls head coach Jsese Marsch.
The American coach was in charge at Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig after his spell in the United States and has signed three players from those clubs for Leeds United, including USMNT stars Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams. Marsch knows those players inside out, their strengths and weaknesses, and they know his.
The Dream Team Played Together in College
By a stroke of good fortune, the Bengals have their own top-tier partnership of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. It is a combination so prolific that it has Bengals fans heading for the best online Ohio sports betting sites and wagering on their beloved team enjoying some Super Bowl LVII glory. Almost every successful NFL team throughout history has had a perfect unison between their quarterback and at least one of the receivers.
The quarterback just knows their favorite receiver will make space for the pass or manage to stretch that extra inch to catch the ball, while the receiver knows exactly how his quarterback will flight the ball, among other things. This kind of partnership often takes several seasons to develop, but Burrow and Chase already know each other’s game because they tore up the college scene for LSU before both signed for the Bengals one year after the other.
Burrow started his college football career with Ohio State, redshirting his first season before spending the next two years as the backup to J.T. Barrett. It is funny how things work out because Barrett ultimately went undrafted and never played in the NFL, while Burrow is tipped for Pro Bowl status.
Burrow transferred to the Louisiana State University (LSU) in May 2018 and was immediately assigned the starting quarterback role. A certain Ja’Marr Chase was also in that LSU team, playing as a wide receiver. Burrow ended his first season with LSU, completing 219 passes for 2,894 yards and 16 touchdowns. Chase was responsible for 23 of those receptions, 313 of Burrow’s yardage, and three touchdowns.
The following season saw Chase gain more game time, and the relationship between Burrow and Chase grew into something special. LSU went unbeaten during the 2019 season and won the College Football Playoff National Championship. Burrow threw a career-best 402 completed passes, 5,671 yards, and an incredible 60 touchdowns. Chase caught 84 of those passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.
The 2020 and 2021 NFL Draft Was Kind to the Bengals
Burrow headed to the 2020 NFL Draft, where the Cincinnati Bengals selected him as the number one overall pick. Chase sat out the entire 2020 college season before the Bengals selected him as the fifth overall pick of 2021.
Having played alongside each other for two years in college, Burrow and Chase continued where they left off when they got to play with each other in the NFL. Chase was often Burrow’s go-to man, with Chase ending his rookie season with 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns from 81 receptions during the regular season and an additional 368 yards and one touchdown from 25 receptions during the Bengals’ playoff run.
Chase broke the NFL record for most receiving yards by a rookie (1,823), most receiving yards in a single game by a rookie (266), most receiving yards in a postseason by a rookie (368), and the youngest NFL player with multiple 100-yard receiving games in a single postseason. Chase broke those records because Burrow was busy setting his own Bengals franchise records.
Bengals fans have every right to be super excited about the coming season because Burrow is now entering his third season as a pro while Chase has a full season under his belt. It will be interesting to see how teams defend against this deadly duo and how Burrow and Chase adapt. It should be a fun season for anyone with an allegiance to the Bengals.