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The Cincinnati Bengals keep getting huge performances from lesser-known names (at least nationally) while they await the returns of Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon.
Wideout Trenton Irwin, for example, earned himself a roster spot with a strong showing two weeks ago. And during Sunday’s win over the Titans, Irwin had one of the biggest plays of the game with a key third-down catch on the game-clinching drive.
Rest assured Joe Burrow has taken notice of the guys stepping up.
Burrow told reporters the following when asked about big plays during the win:
“The biggest play of that drive was the third-and-10 to Trenton Irwin hitting that back shoulder throw. That was a throw we worked this week with him. He doesn’t get a lot of opportunities and he continues to make plays when the opportunities present themselves.”
Don’t forget tight end Hayden Hurst, either. With Chase out, the offense has opened up more vertical routes for him and he’s responded in a big way, including six catches for 57 yards against the Titans.
“He continues to play really well,” Burrow said. “You see over and over he catches the ball short and gets seven yards, and that’s so key to have as a tight end when you have guys like we have on the outside. Maybe you are not going to get a lot of opportunities, but when you do, you have to get us those extra dirty yards and that is what he does so well.”
Keep in mind Hurst has also been doing things like this:
Titans wanted a revenge game and got this my goodness pic.twitter.com/xLX31T4LfY
— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) November 29, 2022
The performances by these two highlights not only the team’s depth — but the schematic flexibility the team showcased last year when it went to the Super Bowl. This is what allows the team to play smashmouth against the Titans, then adjust for things like shootouts against teams like the Chiefs.