Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) sits on the bench in the final moments of the fourth quarter of an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bengals lost, 24-3. Syndication: The Enquirer

Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase took his team’s budding rivalry with the Cleveland Browns to the next level ahead of the Week 1 matchup between the NFL’s two Ohio-based teams.

“It feels like a regular game to me,”  Chase told reporters last week. “It don’t feel no different. It’s just the hooping and hollering about the Cleveland Browns. I was about to call them the elves, but yeah.”

The two-time Pro Bowl selection later added: “If you ask me, I don’t really pay attention to [the hype about the Browns] because Cleveland is Cleveland. I look forward to the matchups that we have when we’re facing them, but other than that, I don’t really be caring.”

While Chase’s comments made the headlines, it was the Browns who would have the last laugh with a dominating 24-3 victory in Cleveland on Sunday. After the game, several Browns players took to social media to throw Chase’s words back in his face, including All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett, cornerback Greg Newsome II, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and safety Juan Thornhill.

As for Chase, the LSU product was left licking his wounds after catching five passes for 39 yards. To his credit, the 23-year-old didn’t run from his comments, telling reporters after the game: “It’s frustrating because I called their *** elves and we just lost to some elves.”

[Greg Newsome II]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.