One statement-making victory later, Joe Burrow and his Cincinnati Bengals are unsatisfied.
In the aftermath of an emphatic 41-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday that shook up the perception of these new-age Bengals, Burrow has made it known that Cincinnati isn't resting upon any laurels or rejoicing in a 5-2 start.
For the second-year quarterback, the best is yet to come for his 2021 squad.
"We still haven't played our best game. We're 5-2, we're in a great spot, but we're not satisfied," Burrow told reporters Wednesday. "We're gonna keep going, keep coming to work every single day to get better. The sky's the limit for us."
While improving to 5-2 and forcing the football world to take notice, the Bengals were buoyed in their win over the Ravens by Burrow's career-high 416-yard effort, which included three touchdown passes. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for Cincinnati against Baltimore and vaulted the Bengals into first place in the AFC North.
For Burrow, though, it's just a start and the Bengals must now guard against complacency and keep looking forward to more wins and accomplishments.
"I think we have to do a good job of staying focused, not getting complacent. We're in a place that we haven't been in a while but we're not satisfied with where we are," Burrow said. "We've got to go out to practice every day, keep getting better, because other teams are going to keep getting better as well. We've got bigger aspirations, like I said, than 5-2. So we've got to keep getting better every day, go out to practice, get through our reps, come back in, watch the film -- just keep grinding."
If there's an opportunity for a trap game, or a let-up, or a reason to be overconfident it would seemingly lie ahead on Sunday against a one-win Jets team.
Thus, while Burrow realizes the magnitude of the team's Week 7 triumph, he knows what lies ahead is what will dictate how this season is remembered.
"It was a big win, big win for us as a team, organization, the city," Burrow said. "But it doesn't mean anything if we don't go out there and win this week and win the week after that and continue to stack these wins and keep getting better and better. If we go, however many games we have left, 10 games, if we go 0-10 [the rest of the season], nobody's going to care we beat Baltimore in Week 7."
The Bengals are off to their finest start since 2015, and are atop the AFC North going into Week 8 for the first time since 2015. And, ultimately, they're looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since that same season, but how Cincinnati ends the season will decide whether that comes to fruition or not, and Burrow seems to realize that full well.
The darlings of Week 7 are moving on to Week 8.