Joe Burrow: Cincinnati Bengals to celebrate season, let Super Bowl loss 'fuel us'

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The mood in the losing locker room was what one might expect following the Cincinnati Bengals' 23-20 defeat against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday.

But quarterback Joe Burrow said he believes the experience can be the catalyst to build on a strong season the team feels is still worth celebrating.

"We have to let if fuel us," Burrow said after the game. "We are going to at least celebrate what we did this year."

The Bengals clinched their first playoff berth in six seasons, won their first postseason game in 31 years and reached the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years. But Cincinnati couldn't hang onto a four-point lead that disappeared for good when Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp caught a 1-yard touchdown pass with 1:35 left in the game.

Burrow endured a lot of punishment in the loss. He was sacked seven times, with six of those coming in the second half, and appeared to injure his right knee in the third quarter. Burrow said the knee will be evaluated when the team returns to Cincinnati but added that it wasn't going to be something that deterred his championship hopes.

"I wasn't coming out [of the game]," Burrow said.

The second-year quarterback said he was disappointed in his performance and thought he could have played better. He was 22-of-33 passing for 263 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Cincinnati nearly pulled off another dramatic victory in its improbably postseason run. All four of the Bengals' playoff games were decided by seven or fewer points.

Bengals coach Zac Taylor said this postseason run will give the team memories to pull from in future years.

"These playoff games weren't easy," Taylor said. "And even beyond that, we had some tough games, and our guys proved that they can do a lot of great in those situations and put us in these moments. And you just have to continue to build off that."

That was the sentiment for Bengals players such as wide receiver Tyler Boyd. The veteran said ending the team's best season in decades with a loss in the Super Bowl will pave the way for future years because Cincinnati knows what it takes to get there.

"We just have to continue to build and stick together and stay connected as a team," Boyd said. "As long as we do that then we will continue to prosper bigger achievements."