Ja’Marr Chase and the Cincinnati Bengals did not achieve victory in the first installment of this season’s Battle of Ohio, but the two-time Pro Bowler is certainly winning the trash-talk war against the Cleveland Browns.
Chase, who only had five catches for 39 receiving yards in Cincinnati’s 24-3 upset loss to the Browns, was not shy about running his mouth before Week 1 and went with the “Cleveland is Cleveland” refrain that former Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster once used. “It feels like a regular game to me,” Chase said, via Jeremy Rauch of Fox 19 in Cincinnati. “It don’t feel no different. It’s just the hooping and hollering about the Cleveland Browns. I was about to call them the elves…I don’t really hear it. If you ask me, I don’t really pay attention to it because Cleveland is Cleveland.”
Never one to avoid controversy, Cleveland defense end Myles Garrett called Chase’s comments “bulletin board material” and indicated he was hoping to have a chance to discuss the remarks with the 23-year-old personally.
“See now that was disrespectful,” Garrett told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He didn’t have to go there. The elves was probably…He knew better. We might have to have a discussion before or after the game, maybe during if I see him. But yeah the elves is a little bit too far.”
(This explains why elves are involved in the Bengals-Browns rivalry.)
Talking trash to Garrett and the Browns clearly did not work out for Chase as the final score from Sunday’s game reflected. Garrett did not get a chance to get after Chase, but he did have two tackles and a sack in the game.
Defiant in defeat on a day when the NFL’s highest-paid player, Joe Burrow, threw for a career-low 82 yards, Chase doubled down on his pregame remarks. “It’s frustrating because I called them elves, and we just lost to some elves,” Chase said after the loss. “So I’m pissed on my part. If they got a problem with me saying something, I’m saying right now, they soft. With me saying elves? They soft then.”
NFL Teams Copying Bengals’ Burrow-Chase Model By Reuniting College QB-WR Duos in ProsThe Cardinals became the latest team to do it by bringing WR Hollywood Brown to Arizona to team with his Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray
Chase can say whatever he wants and obviously he will, but the Elves…er, Browns, have now won nine of their last 11 meetings with the Bengals. The two teams won’t meet again until Week 17 in a game that could decide which of the AFC North rivals qualifies for the postseason. Hopefully, Chase is still talking then.