LOS ANGELES -- Joe Burrow knows what the top tier of NFL quarterbacks looks like.
The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback has Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers firmly in that category after Rodgers won his fourth Associated Press Most Valuable Player award. Two days before playing in Super Bowl LVI, Burrow cited Rodgers as the benchmark he's pursuing.
"I'm chasing Aaron Rodgers to try to be the best," Burrow said during the final day of Super Bowl media interviews. "He's been doing it for a long time."
Wearing blue sunglasses and seated in the bleachers of UCLA's Drake Stadium, Burrow included former Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady and Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes in that group of elite players.
Burrow's Bengals beat Mahomes and Kansas City twice this season -- once in Week 17 to clinch the AFC North title and again on Jan. 30 to win the AFC Championship Game and secure Cincinnati's first Super Bowl trip since 1989.
The Bengals lost to Rodgers and the Packers in overtime on Week 5. Burrow said Rodgers "played great all year" and was deserving after throwing for 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions this year. However, the Bengals' second-year quarterback is no stranger to accolades. In college, he won the Heisman Trophy before being selected with the first overall pick in the 2020 draft.
He added to that collection on Thursday when he took home the league's Comeback Player of the Year at the NFL Honors in Los Angeles. After suffering a season-ending knee injury in his rookie season, Burrow didn't miss any offseason activities and led Cincinnati to its first playoff berth in 2015.
Burrow admitted that he thinks about what a win in the Super Bowl will do for his legacy and people's perception of him when discussing the best quarterbacks in the NFL. But the former LSU standout seeking to win the game's highest prize knows that's not a plan for success.
"I try not to think about that kind of stuff because I think if you go down that road, you start worrying about the wrong things," Burrow said. "So I've tried to stay focused on the job at hand."