I'm sure you've already seen the video this morning, but if you have't then I'll start off by getting you caught up:
"I don’t really hear it. If you ask me, I don’t really pay attention to it because Cleveland is Cleveland."- Ja'Marr Chase
Naturally, Cleveland fans were largely pretty unhappy with the comments, and the national media has certainly jumped on this as some major disrespect. But I'm going to go in the other direction here.
What have we done to earn Ja'Marr Chase's respect?
Chase was born in 2000. Chse has more NFL Playoff wins than the Browns have in his lifetime. The 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns he caught as a rookie would also each be the second-highest mark for any Browns player in his lifetime if he had done that in Cleveland. So just as a starting point, before even factoring in the rivalry, why would you expect Chase to respect the Browns?
And since he's come into the NFL, what has happened that he should change his tune? We're 3-1 against the Bengals since he joined them, sure, but he was inactiv for one of those games and got hurt in the other, so it's a 1-1 series when Chase actually plays a full game.
And in those two full games he's got 16 receptions, 168 yards and a touchdown. The Denzel Ward pick-six is a nice highlight, but we can't pretend our secondary has been any good against Chase.
Heading into his third NFL season with two AFC North titles already, Chase and his Benglas are the favorites to win the division again. The Browns, on the other hand, have rank third in the odds to win the AFC North.
Again, tell me why Chase should respect the Browns?
Respect is something that you need to earn in the NFL. Rivalry or not, Chase has done more to earn respect over the last two years than the Browns have. And when you factor in the rivalry, why would you expect any extra respect?
Any respect we're willing to give the Bengals, the Steelers or the Ravens is giving begrudgingly. When the Bengals finished last in the division for three straight years from 2018 to 2020, we weren't giving them an ounce of respect — and for good reason.
Now the shoe's on the other foot, and that's life.
The way to shut Ja'Marr Chase up is to beat him. Go out there, hold the Bengals' passing attack in check and start the season with an upset victory. If we can't do that, then I hope Chase keeps talking trash. We'd deserve it.
Whatever you think happens against Chase this week, the outcome would be a lot better if you got $365. And that's what Bet365 is offering. If you deposit at least $10 after signing up through our exclusive Factory of Sadness link, you just have to bet $1 on the game to unlock a guaranteed $365 bonus. That pays out whether your bet wins or loses, so you can back either team for just $1 and cash out either way. Just make sure to claim the offer quickly, because it expires soon!