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QB Joe Burrow says Bengals 'not panicking' after starting 2022 season 0-2

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked 13 times through his first two starts this season. File Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5d53d15c087cb7cbe47bbf83c44d6878/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked 13 times through his first two starts this season. File Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Quarterback Joe Burrow said the Cincinnati Bengals aren't panicking and called on everyone to "relax" about the team's 0-2 start to the season and the constant duress he's faced on the field since last year.

Burrow commented on the sour start when he spoke to reporters Wednesday. The Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime in Week 1 and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2.

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Cincinnati is coming off one of its greatest seasons in franchise history, which culminated with a close loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI.

"Everyone is frustrated, but we aren't panicking," Burrow said. "We are two games in. We've got 15 games left. Let's all just take a deep breath and relax. We are going to be fine. We aren't worried about it."

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Burrow was sacked an NFL-high 13 times through the first two games -- and he was sacked an NFL-high 51 times last season. Defenders have sacked Burrow 83 times in his last 22 appearances, including the Bengals' postseason run last year.

The Bengals addressed their porous offensive line through off-season free agency acquisitions, including new right tackle La'el Collins, new right guard Alex Cappa and new center Ted Karras. They also selected starting left guard Cordell Volson in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Left tackle Jonah Williams, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is the team's only returning starter on the offensive line. Hakeem Adeniji, who started nine games last season, is now a backup. Isaiah Prince, who started four games, is on injured reserve.

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The investment, so far, hasn't paid off for Burrow, who is being sacked more than twice as many times per game so far this season compared to 2021 (3.1 to 6.5).

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Collins is the No. 42 tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus offensive ratings. He ranks outside the Top 100 tackles as a pass blocker, but owns the seventh-highest run blocking grade.

Williams is the No. 57 tackle and is the Bengals' lowest rated offensive lineman. Cappa and Karras are the Bengals' highest-rated linemen, at 70.4 and 70.3, respectively. Karras is the No. 5 center in the NFL, while Cappa is the No. 15 guard.

The Bengals offensive line's 117 pass blocking opportunities lead the NFL.

"I think there have been some really good things from these last two games as we get the season started," Bengals coach Zac Taylor told reporters Wednesday.

"It's as simple as, we need to start faster as a team to give ourselves a better opp to go into the game and execute the things we want to execute. ... I've been really encouraged by all five of those guys [linemen]. I think the chemistry is really coming along with them. It's a really fun group to be around. I have a lot of faith in those guys."

Burrow also said the Bengals' early deficits this season and his failure to get the ball out of his hands quickly enough, contributed to his takedowns.

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"I'm very comfortable," Burrow said. "Those guys are working hard to get it right. I can do a lot more to help them too. We can do more with play calling as well. We are getting this thing right. Nobody is panicking."

"We aren't too worried about the excuses of why it's happening. We are just worried about getting it fixed."

The Bengals will battle the New York Jets in Week 3 in their second road game in three weeks. The Jets totaled just three sacks through their first two games. The Cleveland Browns, who boast one of the league's Top 5 offensive lines, allowed one sack to Jets pass rushers in Week 2.

Burrow, who was sacked 10 times through his first two games last season, remains confident in the prospect of a turnaround. He

"We did it last year," Burrow said. "We were in here talking about the same exact stuff last year, and everyone saw how it worked out. We are focused on getting it right and getting better. There is no panic. A lot of urgency, but no panic."

The Bengals and Jets will kick off at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

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The week in the National Football League

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Damarion Williams deflects a touchdown pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle during the second half of an NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on September 18, 2022. Miami won 42-38 after scoring four touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

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