Sans a quick jab from Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr., the club has been relatively quiet when it comes to answering some of the trash talk that has emerged out of the Cincinnati Bengals‘ locker room ahead of Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
The most egregious chatter out of the Bengals came via NFL Films and cornerback Mike Hilton, who described GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium as “Burrowhead.”
“Burrowhead Stadium, right?”
And to be fair to Cincinnati, that is where the Bengals won last year’s AFC Championship game in a 27-24 win over the Chiefs. On Friday — although he refrained from firing back — defensive tackle Chris Jones made sure the Bengals knew their message had reached him.
“God is good. It’s like a full 360, right?” started Jones, citing the opportunity for a Bengals’ rematch with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. “Same thing. Same circumstances under Burrowhead Stadium. So, feeling good about it.”
“Did you say ‘Burrowhead?’” asked a reporter.
“Burrowhead Stadium, right?” answered Jones. “Yeah.”
Jones’ fellow defensive lineman, Frank Clark — who has been known to say a thing or two to the opposing team in a game’s leadup — also weighed in.
Frank Clark. Enjoy. Trust me.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 20, 2020
“It’s going to motivate those who are listening and those who are watching, I guess,” said Clark, who had three tackles and a sack in the Divisional Round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. “When you’re not one of those guys who are paying attention to those things, I don’t think it’s going to motivate you at all. At the end of the day, trash talk is trash talk. You’re going to hear it. People are going to say the things they are going to say... They got the right to call it whatever they want. At the end of the day, when you have the win, you have the last laugh. They have the last laugh right now.”
Clark is referring to the Chiefs’ last three matchups against the Bengals. Cincinnati has won every one of those games: in last year’s regular season, in last year’s AFC Championship game and again this year in Week 13.
“It’s been huge games that we have to play them in,” added Jones. “Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to win, not one of them. So for our end — a rivalry is when you go back and forth, winning and losing, winning and losing. We haven’t beaten them yet, so I don’t think you can call it a rivalry yet. That’s kind of far-fetched.”
The Bengals have won each game by the same margin: three points.
“It’s been a lot of close games,” said Clark. “I believe we lost by three points all three of those games, so it’s games that are coming down to the wire — but obviously, they’re able to finish them. And defensively, we’ve let the games out of our hands, so we just got to collectively — as an offense and defense — finally bring it together and win the game.”
Clark concluded that Sunday offers an opportunity for the Chiefs to get that “last laugh” back. Jones, for the third time in his six-minute press conference, couldn’t help himself as he outlined his next 48 hours.
“[I’m going to] rest. Watch a little more film, see what else I can pick up and eliminate all distractions... Take care. See y’all at Burrowhead Stadium.”