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These Bengals are different.

Not because they won the AFC North for the first time since 2015.

It’s not as easy as having a potential star quarterback or gamebreaker as a wide receiver. The Bengals have had these things in the past.

Carson Palmer was mentioned with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady during the 2005 season. Chad Johnson led the AFC in receiving yards for four years in a row and made six Pro Bowls.

It was a fun time, but they didn’t win more than 11 games in a season and it never really looked like they were legitimate Super Bowl contenders outside of the 2005 campaign.

Andy Dalton and AJ Green have also had successful tenure in the Queen City. Both guys made the Pro Bowl as rookies. They led the Bengals to five straight playoff spots.

This time was a different kind of fun, but it was certainly enjoyable.

These new striped Bengals feel different.

Let’s start with Burrow. Or should I say “Franchise Joey” or “Jackpot Joey? “What about” Joe Shiesty? “Joe Brrr? ”

The 25-year-old has around 12 different nicknames, depending on who you ask. Burrow seems to be universally loved, even by fans of rival teams.

Relativity is huge in an NFL locker room and the man seems to be able to get along with everyone.

When not throwing touchdown passes, he plays chess with his teammates or gets suitable for SpongeBob Squarepants equipment. He will not hesitate to “Get the Gat” with his teammates or celebrate an AFC North title with a victory cigar.