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Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase on what stands out about Chiefs secondary: 'Nothing'

The Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals have become one of the better non-division rivalries in the NFL.

This year's meeting might not carry quite as much weight as some of their recent heavyweight tilts, but Ja'Marr Chase made sure to add some sizzle to their Week 17 game.

When asked what stands out about the Chiefs' secondary, the Bengals wide receiver was crystal clear with his assessment: "If I'm being honest, nothing."

If Chase is concerned how his words might be taken by his opponents, he's not showing it.

"They could take it how they (want to take it). I don't care," he said. 

Asked about Chiefs safety Bryan Cook, who played his college ball in Cincinnati, Chase didn't exactly throw bouquets at the local player.

"I don't even know who that is," Chase said. "Is that No. 6? I don't know, man. Just a guy to me. He ain't Jessie Bates to me. You want me to go (into) comparisons? It's not the same. Just saying."

The one Chiefs DB Chase appeared to praise was cornerback L'Jarius Sneed, whom Chase called "the best player on their team." But Chase added that's because the other defensive backs aren't on Sneed's level.

"That's why they double everybody, because they can't do it one on one," Chase said.

And if that wasn't enough …

"(The Chiefs) know I'm good. They know how to play us," Chase said. "That's what it is, but it's not like they got a superstar on their defense."

There's a chance Chase might not be able to play Sunday. He missed last week's loss to the Steelers while dealing with a separated shoulder and only returned to practice this week in a limited capacity on Thursday.

Chase, who has 93 catches for 1,156 yards and seven touchdowns this season, is doing everything in his power to play Sunday, with the Bengals still mathematically in the playoff race. But he also knows he's not yet cleared and that he's only one player on a desperate team, facing a Chiefs club that has lost five of its past seven games and still has yet to clinch a playoff spot.

"At the end of the day, there's only so much that I can do myself," he said. "It's not like I'm Ironman. I can't throw the football to myself. It's a team sport at the end of the day."

In two regular-season games against the Chiefs, Chase has 18 catches (on 20 targets) for 363 yards and three TDs. He's also faced them twice in the playoffs, totaling 12 catches for 129 yards and one TD. The only time Chase and the Bengals have lost in those four meetings was the last time out, in last season's AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs went on to beat the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

Chase did everything he could to build Sunday's game up to the level of the previous four. He didn't seem concerned how it might motivate his opponent or how the Arrowhead Stadium crowd might greet him if he does play.

"I'm just adding fire to the fuel right now," Chase said. "They're gonna take this and run with it. Hope they put it in their locker. It's alright, though. As long as I'm mentally ready to play."

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