The Bengals' loss in the AFC championship to the Chiefs on Sunday was a crushing blow to another promising season. However, despite the tough loss, quarterback Joe Burrow remains confident that the team will remain a Super Bowl contender for years to come.

“I feel very good about the direction that we’re headed in,” Burrow said after the game, via “We’ve been in this game for two straight years. We have won one and lost one. Obviously, this one hurts but we will come back stronger.”

Cincinnati has now played in four championship games, two before Burrow arrived and two since he was drafted in 2020. Some of the team’s best players, from Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase to Tee Higgins, all remain on their rookie contracts for at least one more season.

Burrow has now played in two full seasons, and in those years, the Bengals have been eliminated from the playoffs via close three-point games against high-level opponents. The quarterback has been adamant that Cincinnati will be contenders as long as he’s the starter.

“The window is my whole career,” Burrow said earlier this month. “Everybody that we have in that locker room, all the coaches we have. Things are going to change year-to-year, but our window is always open.”

While Cincinnati is still searching for that first Lombardi Trophy, the team expects to be one of the best in the league from now on.