Ja’Marr Chase Reignites Chiefs-Bengals Rivalry Ahead of Week 17

Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase calls out Chiefs secondary ahead of Week 17.

Getty Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase disrespected the Kansas City Chiefs' secondary ahead of Week 17.

It’s Cincinnati Bengals week around Chiefs Kingdom and over the past couple of seasons, that’s meant something. In 2023, however, the recent rivalry has lost its luster a bit with injuries to star players like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase.

The latter is questionable to play in Week 17 with a shoulder injury, but that hasn’t stopped the superstar wide receiver from talking some trash ahead of the fifth installment of this head-to-head matchup since Chase’s NFL debut.

“If I’m being honest, nothing,” Chase replied when asked what stands out about the Kansas City secondary (video shared by Cincy media member Mike Petraglia).

He added that the Chiefs “just know how to play us.” Continuing: “They know the leverages. They know what splits we in. [And] they just know what we going to do [in] certain moments. They throw a little double doubles at us to stop the two best players on our side and that’s all they do. It’s not really like they got a Jalen Ramsey on they squad.”

The disrespect didn’t end there.

Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase Tips Cap to Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed, Disrespecting Rest of Secondary

Chase appears to appreciate the Chiefs game planning on defense, but he didn’t have many kind words for the players. That is, outside of one KC cornerback.

“The best player on they team is [L’Jarius] Sneed, and that’s a fact,” Chase voiced during a follow-up question (via Petraglia on X).

“They can take it how they want it, I don’t care,” the Bengals wideout said, implying that Sneed is back at cornerback (from nickel) in 2023 because younger draft picks like Trent McDuffie, Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson have not developed as planned.

To be clear, Chase didn’t actually name any of those three, referencing “two new corners” that Kansas City drafted.

“They know I’m good, they know how to play us,” Chase went on. “It’s not like they got a superstar on they defense.”

He later acknowledged that he’s “just adding fire to the fuel” with these comments as he prepares himself mentally for the Chiefs. “They gon’ take this [and] run with it — I hope they post it in they locker,” Chase challenged toward the end of his remarks. “It’s alright though. As long as I’m mentally ready to play.”

Finally, Chase admitted that he loves the matchups with the Chiefs. “Hell yea,” he responded after a question on feeding off of the back and forth. “They talk the most [expletive], that’s why.”

“It’s football, man. Y’all gon’ put whatever image y’all want on it already,” Chase concluded with the media, going with “no comment” when a reporter wondered if there’s real hatred between the two teams.

Will the Chiefs Have L’Jarius Sneed vs. Bengals in Week 17?

If Chase’s assertion on the KC secondary is accurate, the Chiefs could be in big trouble heading into Week 17.

McDuffie is developing into a terrific NFL cornerback despite the lack of recognition from the Bengal, but how will some combination of Williams, Watson and rookies Nic Jones and Ekow Boye-Doe hold up against Chase and Tee Higgins if the WR suits up and Sneed is unable to play in Week 17?

Sneed was listed as a nonparticipant for the second straight practice on Thursday, December 28. He’s been dealing with a mysterious “calf strain” that head coach Andy Reid didn’t elaborate on during his Wednesday press conference.

The veteran has been active for all 15 games in 2023, proving himself as a true shutdown cornerback in a contract year. Sneed can play inside, outside and shadow a specific pass-catcher if needed — making him one of the most important pieces of Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.