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  1. Ben Baby, ESPN Staff WriterDec 8, 2023, 06:00 AM ET CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning was working out when he got the news. On Wednesday, one of the team's strength coaches came over and told him congratulations. Browning initially thought it was just a general sentiment for his historic performance in Monday's 34-31 overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then he was informed he was this week's AFC Offensive Player of the Week. "My first thought was, luckily Deebo is in the NFC," Browning said, referencing San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who won the same honors in the league's other conference. But it's hard to argue anyone had a better week than Browning. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Browning was the first undrafted player in the common era (since 1967) to have more than 350 passing yards and complete at least 85% of his passes. A deeper look at the numbers show just how much Browning improved from his first career start on Nov. 26 against Pittsburgh and his game eight days later against the Jaguars. Ahead of Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, he knows the importance of making sure he isn't a one-game wonder. "I would like to reiterate that it was one good game," Browning said Wednesday. "So let's stack some of those back to back and not just be the guy who had a good Monday night game and then just kind of fell off. I'm very paranoid about that." Browning was 32-of-37 passing for 354 yards and accounted for two touchdowns as the Bengals snapped a 14-game road losing streak in prime-time games, the longest drought in league history. Browning's 86.5% completion percentage was the highest ever for a quarterback making his first or second NFL start, according to ESPN Stats & Info. What makes it even more notable is the leap in improvement from his first start. Before Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending wrist injury in a Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Browning had thrown just one regular-season pass since he entered the league in 2019. In Weeks 11 and 12 combined, Browning was 27-of-40 passing for 295 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. While Browning is unofficially in his fifth NFL season, he spent his first four years on practice squads -- two years with the Minnesota Vikings and the past two with the Bengals. It wasn't until this season that he became a No. 2 quarterback. Despite his spot on the depth chart over the years, Browning was exhaustive in his midweek preparation. When Browning was named the starter, that work ethic was cited as something that could help him be successful. That is evident in some of the eye-popping numbers Browning posted against the Jaguars. Browning's accuracy was perhaps the most impressive thing. Bengals coach Zac Taylor said that of his five incompletions, two were dropped passes by receivers. Two were throwaways and another was a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage. On third downs against Jacksonville, Browning was 9-of-11 for 143 yards and six first downs. It was the most third-down passing yards by a Bengals quarterback since Burrow posted 165 against the Colts in Week 6 of the 2020 season. He was also great in pushing the ball downfield. He was 7-of-7 passing for 170 yards and a touchdown on throws of 10 or more air yards, according to ESPN Stats & Info. That's the most by any Bengals quarterback since ESPN started tracking air yards in 2006. Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher said Browning's preparation is a big factor for some of those impressive metrics. "It's not that he put in any more effort," Pitcher said. "It's just you learn things about yourself. Your coaches [and teammates] learn things about you. It's a natural process that can only really occur when you're playing real football." Over the course of the week, Browning got a feel for what he was comfortable executing within Taylor's game plan. Browning took one of the 200 playcalls off the sheet in one of the midweek meetings with Taylor. Over the years, the Bengals' coach has allowed his quarterbacks to make adjustments within the structure of the game plan. That freedom comes with a mutual trust. "He has earned that right to be able to communicate that way," Taylor said. "And so we put a lot of value in what he says." Cincinnati (6-6) is trying to extend its postseason streak to three consecutive seasons and will need Browning to play well down the stretch. And as the accolades and praise have piled up throughout the week, Browning has tried to stay as steady as possible as Cincinnati faces its final five games of the regular season. "I think I stay pretty levelheaded," Browning said. "But I would say the fear of one-off does not motivate me. "But I'm definitely aware of the fact that it was one good game, and I would like to have more than that. I would like to have a good game every time." https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/39065299/bengals-browning-eager-more
  2. Indianapolis Colts 7-5 AT Cincinnati Bengals 6-6 WHERE: Paycor Stadium (Cincinnati) WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS MONEYLINE: Colts: -110 | Bengals: -110 SPREAD: PICK | O/U: 44.0 Bengals 22-20 Table inside Article Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom Bengals 23-20 Bengals 21-20 Bengals 22-20 Colts 24-22 Why Brooke is taking the Bengals: I'm not going as far as saying Jake Browning “lit the world on fire” in the overtime win at Jacksonville, but he displayed more than enough to give a Bengals team some hope, connecting on an astounding 86.5 percent of his passes for 354 yards and a touchdown. Browning's only had two starts, but it's tough to beat a team with that level of QB play -- a luxury the Colts don't have with an unpredictable Gardner Minshew, though he is 5-3 as Indy's starter this season. Minshew's wily with a blossoming supporting cast and a head man in Shane Steichen who is making a case for Coach of the Year. Turnovers are sure to be a huge decider, so if the Bengals limit Tyler Boyd's pass attempts, I trust them more than Minshew, who is tied for the third-most turnover-worthy plays this season with 21, per Pro Football Focus. https://www.nfl.com/news/week-14-nfl-picks-2023-nfl-season
  3. Bengals host Colts in battle of backup QBs Field Level Media 08 Dec 2023, 02:40 GMT+10 Propelled by clutch overtime wins, the Cincinnati Bengals host the streaking Indianapolis Colts in a matchup of surprise playoff contenders. The Colts (7-5) won their fourth straight last week, beating the Titans on the road by responding to an overtime field goal with a touchdown for a 31-28 win. Quarterback Gardner Minshew found Michael Pittman in the back of the end zone with 2:31 left in overtime to lift the Colts into the AFC South catbird seat. The Indianapolis quarterback, who began the season backing up rookie Anthony Richardson, completed 26 of 42 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals (6-6) are also coming off a road overtime thriller, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars, 34-31, on Monday night behind a brilliant game from their own backup quarterback. The Colts will be getting a key player back from suspension. Defensive tackle Grover Stewart returns from a six-game suspension for violation of the NFL's performance enhancement drug policy. "I'm proud of the guys, man, like each and every week going out there giving their all," Stewart said. "Being on this four-game win streak, you can't ask for more than that." The Colts allowed 4.7 yards per carry in Stewart's absence, 28th in the NFL, a full yard more on average than with him in the lineup. The Colts compensated for it in the pass rush with a league-high 30 sacks in their last six games. "It's kind of obvious but he definitely helps our defensive line and he's a really good player," added head coach Shane Steichen. "He's a big-time player that is going to help us on Sunday." Cincinnati has pep in its step on the heels of the historic effort from quarterback Jake Browning at Jacksonville. Making just his second career start after Joe Burrow's season-ending right wrist surgery. Browning completed 32 of 37 passes for 354 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 22 yards and another score, calmly rallying the Bengals from TD deficits of 7-0, 14-7 and 28-21. "He just lit the world on fire," head coach Zac Taylor said. "At halftime, I wasn't sure if we had an incompletion, if the ball had hit the ground yet. I thought he managed the game beautifully well. He was aggressive with some of his throws." His 86.5 completion percentage marked the fifth-highest in a game in team history, and he became the 10th player in the Super Bowl era to throw for 350 or more yards while completing at least 85 percent of his passes in a regular season game. For his efforts, Browning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, the second Bengals quarterback honored this season. Burrow earned that award for a Week 8 win at San Francisco. "I think his five incompletions were two drops, two throwaways and a tipped ball. So that's pretty dang accurate," Taylor said. "That's kind of what we've talked about. When you have a backup quarterback, everyone has to raise their level of play. Everyone raised their level of play." Browning is now the NFL record-holder for accuracy in his first two career starts, the NFL said Wednesday, with a completion percentage of 81 percent. How historic is his start? The mark measured since the Truman Administration (1950) has been held for 21 years by Jets quarterback Chad Pennington at 79.3. "I can watch Joe (Burrow) or whoever I've been behind do it a million times -- it's different once it's you," Browning said. "I was able to reflect on what my week was like and what I needed to improve. It was my first time in a live pocket in a little while." Ja'Marr Chase caught 11 passes for 149 yards with a 76-yard touchdown in the third quarter that gave Cincinnati its first lead. Chase has now surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in all three of his NFL seasons, making him the eighth player in NFL history and the second in Bengals history (A.J. Green, 2011-13) to achieve that feat. https://www.newyorkcitynews.net/news/274057895/bengals-host-colts-in-battle-of-backup-qbs
  4. Here’s a look at the updated injury report for the Bengals in Week 14:
  5. Charlie Goldsmith, Cincinnati Enquirer Wed, Dec 6, 2023, 2:37 PM CST·5 min read Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins shook off the cornerback and broke toward the sideline, and everything was normal again. Higgins entered this year with lofty goals and big expectations. Then, he fractured a rib in Week 4. He missed a game and powered through the injury, but then Higgins pulled his hamstring in practice. After missing three more games, Higgins returned for Monday Night Football and only had two catches heading into overtime. Then on 3rd and 10 with the Bengals on the brink of field goal range and 3:22 left in overtime, Higgins ran one of his favorite routes. He burned the cornerback, cut toward the left sideline and high-pointed the ball for a first down catch at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 42-yard line. “When things get bad, it’s just another challenge in the way,” Higgins said. “My goal when I start facing challenges is to treat it like it’s a contested catch. I’ll go up there and make that and do what I do. These injuries have been nothing but challenges. It’s one step on the road to get back. I’ve been able to do that.” Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins returned from a hamstring injury on Monday and made the biggest catch of the game in a win over the Jagaurs. Higgins is in a contract year, and he’s having the quietest statistical season of his NFL career. Last year, Higgins caught 74 passes for 1,029 yards and averaged 64.3 yards per game. The Bengals planned to line Higgins up more in the slot this year, expand his role and feature him even more in 2023. Injuries have kept Higgins from producing big But entering Week 14, Higgins only has 30 catches for 364 yards and is averaging just 45.5 yards per game. Instead of having the type of season that could lead to his first Pro Bowl nod, Higgins has spent most of the season trying to get healthy. “We have a resilient group of guys, and he’s a great example,” Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said. “Maybe things haven’t gone his way or the way he hoped this year. He has dealt with some adversity and some frustration physically. To come back, he probably wants the ball to show that he’s back and ready to play. He has a little bit of a quiet game until the biggest moment in the entire game." Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins had a shot to be a Pro Bowler this year, but he has spent most of the season battling injuries. Before Monday, every time Higgins felt some momentum this season, he had it ripped away from him. Higgins played a great game in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens, catching eight passes for 89 yards. The following week, he dropped two passes that nearly turned the entire game. One week later, Higgins cracked a rib and tried to play through it. He eventually missed a game-and-a-half, but Higgins pushed to return as quickly as possible. He was back in Week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks even after he aggravated the ribs injury that week in practice. Higgins only played 54% of the Bengals’ offensive snaps that day as the Bengals tried to ease him back in. Higgins returned to playing like Higgins Over the next two weeks, Higgins played his best football in wins over the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow decided he was going to feature Higgins against the Bills, and Higgins caught eight passes for 110 yards. Four days later, Higgins sprinted for a deep ball in practice and pulled his hamstring. It was another disappointing blow in a frustrating season, but Higgins tried to not make too much of it. “Adversity is going to hit no matter what,” Higgins said. “I’ve always had my goals, kept my eyes forward and kept looking down the road. I never look back.” Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins is averaging 3.8 catches for 45.5 yards in 2023. Higgins returned against the Jaguars, and he stayed patient. Even though he only had two catches during regulation, he was locked in. Higgins recognized how the Jaguars defended him when he ran an out route against man coverage earlier in the game. Even though he didn’t get the ball on that play, he had a good feel for what the Jaguars’ coverage was going to look like when the Bengals ran a similar play for Higgins in overtime. After the snap, Higgins recognized the coverage he was expecting and ran a perfect route to break free from Jaguars No. 1 cornerback Tyson Campbell. “Tee has been fantastic this year all the way around,” Callahan said. “He just hasn’t had the production that he has wanted. The injuries have been things he had to battle through. That speaks more to him and his character and his toughness than if he were healthy and playing really well. It’s one of the understated things that you really appreciate about guys. His demeanor has never changed. He has been awesome.” Higgins has won on this out route for dozens of first downs during his Bengals’ career. His size, physicality and quickness gave quarterback Jake Browning as much confidence as he could possibly have that Higgins would be open. After Higgins waited all game and all season to make a catch as big as this one, he provided another reminder of what makes him a standout receiver. “That was one of those classic plays,” Higgins said. “Zac (Taylor) trusted me, and Jake gave me a great ball. That’s what I do.” https://sports.yahoo.com/just-another-challenge-tee-higgins-203758703.html
  6. Here's an example of an article I didn't post because it's basically useless: Orlando Brown Jr. explains his hilarious viral TD celebration Chris Roling Wed, Dec 6, 2023, 8:29 AM CST·1 min read 1 Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. went viral on Monday night for a one-liner he issued to the ESPN cameras during a touchdown celebration. It turns out the “jack***” comment yelled into the camera was directed at those who picked the Jacksonville Jaguars to beat his Bengals. “I was getting ready pregame,” Brown said after the game, according to CLNS Media’s Mike Petraglia. “I seen all the picks pregame, and everyone had Jacksonville out there to win. I don’t know. It just seemed right in the moment.” ESPN’s panel before kickoff all picked against the Bengals. But Brown and his teammate surely saw how pretty much everyone else was picking against them, including one analyst saying the game would be a 33-0 Jaguars win. Here’s the celebration, plus Brown doing it again in the locker room during the celebration:
  7. Jake Browning Cincinnati Bengals · QB Browning shook up the NFL world on Monday night, keeping the Bengals' postseason hopes alive as he led Cincinnati to a 34-31 overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Browning, who's starting in place of injured franchise QB Joe Burrow, completed an astounding 32 of his 37 passes (86.5%) for 354 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. Browning added a touchdown run that tied the game, then led a go-ahead field goal drive late in the fourth quarter before piloting a game-winning FG drive in OT. https://www.nfl.com/news/bengals-qb-jake-browning-49ers-wr-deebo-samuel-highlight-players-of-the-week
  8. Bengals stun Jaguars: Breaking down the game, plus the latest details on Trevor Lawrence's injury The Bengals pulled off one of the biggest shockers of the season Monday night with a wild 34-31 win over the Jaguars in overtime. It was Cincinnati's first road win in a Monday game since 1990, and it made the Bengals only the second team this year to win as a double-digit underdog. (The Cardinals were the other when they beat the Cowboys back in Week 3.) This is where we usually hand out grades, but there's a lot to go over here, so we're going to break down the game and take a look at the latest on Lawrence's injury instead: Jake Browning turns into Joe Burrow. In just his second career start, Browning had one of the most impressive games of the season by ANY quarterback. Browning completed 86.7% of his passes for 352 yards, making him just the 10th QB in NFL history with a completion percentage of at least 85% while also throwing for at least 350 yards in a game. (You can see the full list here of quarterbacks who have pulled that off.) Browning's completion percentage was the third-highest in Bengals franchise history and the highest ever for any QB making his first or second career start. Browning was so good that the Bengals only punted once in the game. His biggest highlight was a 76-yard TD pass to Ja'Marr Chase in the second half that gave the Bengals a 21-14 lead (you can see the play here). With Browning running the show, the Bengals piled up a SEASON-HIGH 491 yards. Ja'Marr Chase to the rescue. One reason Browning was so good Monday was because Chase caught everything thrown his way. The aforementioned 76-yard TD was one of 11 receptions Chase had on the night for a total of 149 yards. Although the long TD was definitely a big play, Chase also came up clutch in overtime with two catches for 25 yards that help set up Evan McPherson's game-winning field goal. (Chase made a spectacular 17-yard catch in OT that you can see here.) Chase now has six career games with at least with 10 receptions, 100 yards and a receiving touchdown, which is the most by any player in NFL history through their first three seasons. Bengals might have exposed the Jaguars defense. Jaguars fans probably weren't completely surprised to see Browning have a huge game, and that's because the Jags defense has been one of the worst in the NFL at stopping the pass. Following Monday's game, the Jags are now surrendering an average of 261.7 yards per game through the air, which ranks 30th in the NFL. For Jacksonville, the biggest surprise in this game might have been the fact that it couldn't stop the run. The Bengals went into Monday with the NFL's WORST rushing attack -- they were barely averaging 75 yards per game -- but Cincinnati steamrolled the Jags for 156 yards. The Bengals averaged 5.03 yards per carry, and because the run game was working so well, the Jags had to respect it, which opened things up for Browning and the passing attack. The Jags may have been caught off-guard by a Bengals rushing attack that's done almost nothing all season. In Browning's first start last week, the Bengals only ran the ball 11 times; on Monday night, they flipped their game plan and ended up running the ball 31 times. Although the Jags' defense could end up being a problem for them down the stretch, the bigger issue for Jacksonville is the health of Lawrence. Here's what we know about the quarterback's injury. Lawrence was injured by friendly fire. Lawrence injured his ankle with just under six minutes left to play in the fourth quarter, and the injury happened after a teammate accidentally stepped on his ankle. After Lawrence went down, he tried to get up, but then he immediately fell to the ground again. Once he realized he couldn't put any pressure on the ankle, he took off his helmet and slammed it to the ground, which caused an audible gasp from the crowd (you can see the full play here). Lawrence was having an impressive game before his injury, going 22 of 29 for 258 yards and two touchdowns. The Jaguars had driven down to Cincinnati's 23-yard line before Lawrence's injury took place. Lawrence diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain. The good news for the Jags is that Lawrence did NOT break his ankle, but the bad news is that he's still dealing with a high-ankle sprain, according to head coach Doug Pederson. "Everything's stable and looks good," said Pederson, who did not rule out Lawrence for Sunday's game against the Browns. Jacksonville will see how its franchise QB progresses throughout the week. C.J. Beathard would start if Lawrence is out. If Lawrence can't go, that means that Beathard would be in line to make his first start since 2020. The downside for Beathard is that the Jaguars have a brutal schedule coming up. Over the next two weeks, they'll be facing two of the top defenses in the NFL (Browns in Week 14, Ravens in Week 15). Beathard actually held his own on Monday, going 9 of 10 for 63 yards, but things won't be as easy when his opponent has an entire week to prepare for him. https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/latest-details-on-trevor-lawrence-s-injury-plus-prisco-s-power-rankings-and-breaking-down-nfl-playoff-picture/ar-AA1l2VP6?ocid=hpmsn&cvid=507486ad71464c24900478376cb3d6e6&ei=34
  9. The “Who Dey” chants coming through the television on Monday night during the 34-31 win for the Cincinnati Bengals over the Jacksonville Jaguars had an impact. Those well-traveling Bengals fans apparently had a pretty big impact on the Jaguars. After the game, Jaguars head coach Dough Pederson apparently got “testy” during postgame interviews when explaining that crowd noise — at home — was part of the reason for some communication issues on the defensive side of the ball. Other things go into this, of course, as defenses just don’t give up 300-plus yards to a backup quarterback while getting upset at home. But Joe Burrow or not, Bengals fans are clearly traveling well with the team and making their presence felt. Here’s details of the exchange, courtesy of NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano: Doug Pederson gets a little testy when asked about "communication issues" on defense. Pederson says the crowd noise was a factor. https://bengalswire.usatoday.com/2023/12/05/jaguars-coach-bengals-fans-big-impact-monday-night/
  10. Joe Davidson Tue, December 5, 2023 at 2:02 PM CST·5 min read Jake Browning held a captive audience in Florida, most everyone against him in opposing colors. It was his latest Cool Hand Jake act, or, to those who know him best, it was simply another “Same ol’ Jake” routine. Browning quarterbacked the Cincinnati Bengals past the host Jacksonville Jaguars 34-31 in overtime, setting an NFL record along the way in showing that perseverance pays off for a guy who before this stage never had to wait his turn. He dazzled in front of a Monday Night Football national television audience with color commentator Troy Aikman singing his praises. He had a following in Folsom, his roots and where he starred at Folsom High School in becoming the most prolific prep passer in U.S. history. And the man who taught him how to play quarterback attended the game at EverBank Stadium. That was Troy Taylor, the Stanford coach who first started teaching Browning about the benefits of footwork, mechanics and progression reads when he was all of 9 years old. Taylor and Kris Richardson were co-coaches at Folsom when Browning worked defenses over. Jake then looks a lot like Jake now, only he’s a little older and has a much better beard going, though the work ethic and humility remain. Taylor texted The Sacramento Bee a selfie photo of himself and son Noah at the game, adding: “Jake is playing great! Poised and accurate just like he always is.” A moment later, just after halftime, Browning hit Ja’Marr Chase for a 76-yard touchdown for a 21-14 lead, and Taylor texted: “How about that?!?!” Browning completed 32 of 37 passes for 354 yards and accounted for two scores. The completion percentage of 86.5% is the highest for anyone in their first or second start in NFL history. Ever the proud coach, Taylor also texted The Bee that he could barely contain his glee: “I’ve somehow managed to tell everyone in Section 208, 209 and most of 207 that I know him.” Here’s what to know: Browning never panics on a stage big or small. He torched defenses to the tune of a remarkable state-record 16,775 yards over three varsity seasons at Folsom from 2012-14, winning 44 of 46 games. He tossed a national prep record 229 touchdowns, including a mind-numbing 91 for a 16-0 team in 2014. He was a four-year starter for the Washington Huskies, where he became the winningest passer in Pac-12 history with 39 victories. Browning is a 27-year-old rookie now, having waited for his NFL opportunity. Richardson wasn’t surprised at what Browning did Monday or that he has been patient to get to this point. Now in his fifth season as the assistant head coach at Sacramento State, Richardson watched Browning work his magic from his Folsom home, yelling at the TV in full-on fan mode. “Beautiful!!!” Richardson texted The Bee after Browning’s 76-yarder. “Same ol’ Jake. Love that guy. Jake is an incredible teammate. Just get better every day. The elite of the elite. Intelligence, work ethic, coachability, mental toughness are all needed. Along with great physical tools.” What added to the joy for Browning and his Folsom followers was that one of his starting tackles is an old friend. Jonah Williams was also a star at Folsom with Browning and a first-round pick of the Bengals in 2019. Typical of Browning, he never seemed to break much of a sweat Monday. Afterward, Browning was his usual modest self, talking mostly about how “great of a win” this was and that there’s more work to be done next week. In leading the Bengals to their first MNF road win since 1990, Browning also kept his team in the AFC playoff hunt. “It’s been a long time since I won a game,” Browning told Lisa Salters of ESPN right after the game. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) calls a play during the third quarter of a regular season NFL football matchup Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-31 in overtime. Nearly five years to the date, actually. Browning’s last victory as a starter was his senior season at Washington, the 2018 Pac-12 championship triumph over Utah that placed the Huskies in the Rose Bowl. Browning was an undrafted free-agent signee in 2019 by the Minnesota Vikings. The club later released him, then signed him to the practice squad. The same happened in 2020. Browning signed with the Bengals in 2021, was cut and then re-signed to the practice squad in what is a normal flurry of transactions in the NFL for undrafted players. There was a point when Browning wondered if his playing days were numbered. Browning got his first NFL regular-season snap earlier this season, then came on in relief of injured star Joe Burrow on Nov. 16, tossing a touchdown in a 34-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He passed for 227 yards on 19-of-26 passing with a touchdown in a 16-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Stealers on Nov. 26. With Burrow out for the season, this is now Browning’s team. About the only time Browning was left on the turf with his head spinning was his welcome-to-football moment. He was 8 years old, all arms, legs and big cleats. Browning was hit with such force in a Folsom Junior Bulldogs practice one day that he had to straighten his helmet so he didn’t have to look out the ear hole. “Eddie Flores hit me so hard that I cried,” Browning recalled to The Bee years later, adding with a laugh, “but we’re still friends.” Flores now? Still a fan, still a follower. And he still tracks his old friend. “Yes, Jake and I played many sports,” Flores said. “I saw him play last night. Surreal and incredible seeing him play in the NFL.” https://news.yahoo.com/same-ol-jake-coaches-rejoice-200216129.html
  11. KARL RASMUSSEN 9 HOURS AGO In this story: CINCINNATI BENGALS JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS The Bengals attempted a trick play during the fourth quarter against the Jaguars that left NFL fans confused, but perhaps none were more baffled than Peyton Manning. Watching the game on ESPN’s Manningcast, Manning was exasperated after Cincinnati dialed up a similar trick play to one they had failed to execute earlier in the game. The Bengals took the ball out of Jake Browning’s hands, despite the backup quarterback having the best game of his career, and opted to run a trick play involving a cross-field pass from Tyler Boyd. Boyd hazardously threw the ball across the middle of the field, which proved to be a brutal mistake as Jacksonville’s undefined was able to intercept it with ease and set the Jaguars up with some prime field position. Manning was enraged after the catastrophic trick play and he ripped into the Bengals for their play-calling. “What are we doing? Why are they not letting Browning throw? My mic just fell off...” said Manning. “Browning hasn’t thrown an incompletion and we have two receivers throwing passes. One [Ja’Marr Chase] throws a back shoulder... to Browning and this guy [Boyd] throws it right to the D-lineman.” Eli Manning and guest Kay Adams were equally confused by the Bengals’ play-calling, though Peyton was certainly the most animated, clearly not a fan of the Bengals’ adventurous decision-making on offense. At the time of the play, Browning had completed 19-of-21 passes, lending further confusion as to why Cincinnati had twice opted to call for passes from wide receivers. https://www.si.com/nfl/2023/12/05/peyton-manning-got-so-mad-after-bengals-tyler-boyd-threw-costly-int-dreadful-trick-play-vs-jaguars
  12. Published: Dec 04, 2023 at 11:44 PM Nick Shook Around The NFL Writer Cincinnati Bengals 2023 · 6-6-0 Jake Browning becomes a hero. The former University of Washington standout was forced into action two weeks ago when Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending wrist injury. Browning didn't look great, but showed signs of progress in a loss to Pittsburgh last week. On Monday night, Browning blossomed. He completed 32 of 37 passes for 354 yards and one touchdown -- a 76-yard strike to Ja'Marr Chase to give the Bengals a 21-14 lead early in the third quarter -- and performed as if he'd been a 10-year starter. Browning operated Zac Taylor's offense remarkably efficiently, avoiding risk and delivering on-target passes to eight different receivers on the night. He didn't trip and fall into 354 passing yards. Browning earned every one of his completions, and the Bengals' upset win -- Browning's first as a starter since his days as a Husky. If anyone deserves a game ball, it's the quarterback most counted out prior to Monday night. Jaguars suffer loss, perhaps more. Jacksonville found itself in an unexpected dog fight Monday night, struggling to stop the run and failing to unsettle Browning. Instead of cruising to a win over a Burrow-less Bengals team, the Jaguars had to scratch and claw just to stay in the game. Amid this battle, the worst happened: Trevor Lawrence exited with an ankle injury that was severe enough for the star quarterback to require assistance to slowly make his way to the locker room. C.J. Beathard played well enough to move the Jaguars into field goal range, but as soon as Lawrence went down, the air was sucked out of EverBank Stadium. Now, as they process the sting of a prime-time loss, Jags fans will be forced to wait to see how serious Lawrence's ankle sprain is, and whether they'll be dropped into a nightmare of finishing the season without their franchise quarterback. Zac Taylor schemes up a masterpiece. Taylor entered Week 13 knowing he wouldn't be able to ask Browning to trot onto the field and morph into Burrow, and he coached like it. Taylor did a fantastic job of scheming to his quarterback's strengths, emphasizing the run early to soften Jacksonville's pass rush and buy Browning time to operate. And as the run was working, the play-action pass became a viable path to success, fitting Browning's skills perfectly. Taylor frequently called for Browning to roll out of run fakes and find open targets flowing to the right, opening up a Bengals offense that most expected to trudge through the night. This balance helped build Browning's confidence and allow him to settle in, giving the Bengals opportunities to target their cast of talented receivers downfield while mixing in some punishing Joe Mixon carries. When Browning dropped to pass and lofted a strike to Chase early in the third quarter for a touchdown, it was as if Taylor inserted a skeleton key into a lock, turned it and revealed the full capability of his offense. Jacksonville was forced to frantically search for answers, and even when the Jaguars made Taylor pay for getting too cute with his play-calling by intercepting a pass thrown by Tyler Boyd, the Bengals didn't fold. If anyone needs proof of Taylor's coaching ability, Monday night's tape will end the argument. Jacksonville opens door for AFC South chaos. The Jaguars had a prime opportunity to maintain their lead in the surprisingly competitive division by taking down a Bengals team playing without its franchise quarterback Monday night. Instead, they left open a path for the Texans and Colts to reinsert themselves into the race for the AFC South crown. With their Week 13 loss, Jacksonville watched its lead in the division shrink to one game with five games left to play. Suddenly, the AFC South is a fascinating division featuring a group of scrappy teams that could produce a number of different results, especially if Lawrence is out for an extended period. Plenty is left to sort out, but Jacksonville could end up lamenting this loss by the end of the season. Bengals find hope. Cincinnati's dreams of a surge to the postseason effectively evaporated when Burrow suffered his season-ending injury and the Ravens ran away with a two-touchdown win two weeks ago. Bengals fans didn't have much more reason to believe they might be able to salvage the 2023 campaign when they lost to the Stealers at home last week. But Browning's stellar night has suddenly given them reason to believe they can compete in every remaining game, and maybe even sneak into an AFC race that is suddenly tight in the wild-card standings. There's no guarantee Browning replicates this type of performance on a weekly basis, but all the Bengals needed was proof he could do it once. Now, they'll enter Week 14 brimming with confidence, which could be a dangerous reality for whoever runs into them -- including a fellow wild-card contender in Indianapolis next week. Next Gen stat of the game: Jake Browning completed every one of his seven pass attempts over 10 air yards on Monday night (7 of 7 for 170 yards and one touchdown), the most downfield completions without an incompletion over the last two seasons. NFL Research: Jake Browning became the 10th player in the Super Bowl era to throw for 350-plus yards and a completion percentage of at least 85% in a regular season game. https://www.nfl.com/news/2023-nfl-season-week-13-what-we-learned-from-bengals-win-over-jaguars-on-monday-
  13. Michael DiRocco Dec 4, 2023, 11:55 PM ET JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 34-31 on "Monday Night Football" in a game that saw quarterback Trevor Lawrence leave in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury. Bengals backup quarterback Jake Browning -- filling in for the injured Joe Burrow -- did his best Burrow impression in Jacksonville, leading Cincinnati to a 21-14 lead late in the third quarter. But the Jags stormed back with a pair of TDs, the second of which set up by a Josh Allen interception of a Tyler Boyd pass, to take the lead. Browning answered with a short TD to even the score 28-28, then commanded a late field goal drive one possession after Lawrence went down and was taken to the locker room. Jaguars backup C.J. Beathard answered with a field goal drive of his own, sending the game to overtime where Bengals kicker Evan McPherson won the game from 48 yards. The loss drops Jacksonville to 8-4 on the season, while the Bengals improve to 6-6 -- and 1-1 since Burrow was ruled out for the season with an injury to his right wrist. Jake Browning scored two touchdowns -- one rushing and one passing -- in the Bengals' win. Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Cincinnati Bengals Jake Browning got it done. In his second career start -- in a primetime matchup against a division-leading team in the AFC -- the Bengals' backup quarterback turned in the type of performance that will give the team hope it can still compete for a playoff berth. Browning was 32-of-37 passing for 354 yards and two touchdowns -- one passing, one rushing. Two of those incompletions were drops by his wide receivers. If Cincinnati can replicate this type of performance, it has a shot at reaching the playoffs for the third straight year. Of Cincinnati's five remaining opponents, only the Kansas City Chiefs have their starting quarterback healthy. Bold prediction: Rookie running back Chase Brown is going to see more carries the rest of the season. Cincinnati wanted to see how the fifth-round pick would fare on the ground before he went on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. In his second game back, Brown saw work early and often. And he showed why he could be a big-play running back that Cincinnati has lacked the last couple of years. Brown's 31-yard carry in the third quarter was the team's longest from scrimmage this season. To put that in perspective, Joe Mixon had 35 yards on his first 10 carries. The remaining five games of the regular season could give the Bengals an extended look at whether Brown could be a long-term starter. Eye-popping Next Gen Stat: Browning's completion percentage over expectation in the first three quarters was a staggering 16.3%, according to NFL Next Gen, which ranked 12th out of 386 for a quarterback through the first three quarters of a game this season. And it wasn't just a lot of short throws that built that number. Of his first 20 completions, five of them were for 10 or more air yards, per NFL Next Gen. Next game: vs. Indianapolis Colts (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Dec. 10) Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars lost to Cincinnati in overtime, but may have suffered an even worse loss when Lawrence suffered a right ankle sprain late in the fourth quarter. Lawrence was injured when left tackle Walker Little was pushed back and stepped on Lawrence's right ankle. His leg appeared to get caught under him as he went to the ground, and he needed assistance to get to the locker room. If Lawrence is out, the team will turn to Beathard, who hasn't started a game since Week 16 in 2021 with the San Francisco 49ers. Beathard had only thrown 17 passes in his two-plus seasons with the Jaguars, but he led them into position for a game-tying field goal with 26 seconds remaining in regulation. The Jaguars play the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in the next two weeks. Pivotal play: Rookie wide receiver Parker Washington turned an interception into a touchdown on a third-and-9 play from the Cincinnati 14-yard line. Bengals safety Dax Hill got both hands on Trevor Lawrence's pass to Washington in the back of the end zone but he couldn't hold onto the ball. Washington grabbed the deflection for his first NFL touchdown. Instead of trailing 21-14 and the Bengals riding a wave of momentum, the game was tied at 21. Pivotal play, part II: That play proved even more important after linebacker Josh Allen intercepted Tyler Boyd's attempted pass on a trick play to running back Joe Mixon on the Bengals' first offensive snap following Washington's touchdown catch. That gave the Jaguars the ball on the 9-yard line and Lawrence's 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal gave the Jaguars a 28-21 lead -- a 14-point swing in 2:13. Biggest hole in the game plan: The Jaguars thought they'd be able to pressure Bengals quarterback Jake Browning in his second career start, and they did on a fourth-down play to stop Cincinnati's first drive. That was pretty much it for the first half, however. Per ESPN Stats & Information, the Jaguars got pressure on 14.3% of the Bengals' dropbacks in the first half (including Ja'Marr Chase's one attempt). Browning completed 17 of 19 passes for 178 yards in the first half, and he had 260 yards (and only three incompletions) entering the fourth quarter. Next game: at Cleveland Browns (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Dec. 10) https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/39044690/bengals-jaguars-monday-night-football-jake-browning-trevor-lawrence
  14. play Ben Baby, ESPN Staff WriterDec 5, 2023, 03:07 AM ET JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning doesn't know when he'll fully appreciate his performance on Monday night. In the second start of his career, he put together a historic outing in a 34-31 overtime victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Playing in place of an injured Joe Burrow, Browning became the first undrafted player in the common era to throw for more than 350 passing yards and complete 85% of his passes. His final line: 32-of-37 passing, 354 yards and two total touchdowns, an effort that helped the Bengals snap a three-game losing streak. And despite his relative inexperience, the feeling of victory wasn't an unfamiliar one for him. "I haven't played a lot of football, but it's not like I'm not used to winning," Browning said. "I've won a lot of games in my career. None of them have been in the NFL until today, which is obviously noteworthy. I've won a lot of football games in my life." Browning won a prep state title at Folsom (California) High and played in 53 games in four seasons at the University of Washington before going undrafted in 2019. After the Minnesota Vikings waived him before the 2021 season, he landed with the Bengals and has gone from a practice squad player to the team's No. 2 quarterback. His role took on greater significance when Burrow suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 11, which led to Browning making his first career start in Week 12. In a 16-10 loss to Pittsburgh, he was 19-of-26 passing for 227 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Browning said that while he has sat behind other quarterbacks and processed games, it's different reflecting on his own in-game experience." [I] learned a lot from the Pittsburgh game and was really able to focus on some of those things throughout the week of practice," Browning said. "I think the main thing is just having those reps and having another week of it. And we were able to put up points." Cincinnati (5-6) put up a ton of yards, too -- a season-high 491, with 42 of those coming in the overtime period. Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins said once Browning hit Ja'Marr Chase on a 76-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, that's when he realized the Cincinnati quarterback was truly in for a big game. Higgins had nothing but praise for how Browning fared against the Jaguars (8-4). "Boy had a hell of a game," Higgins said. "Y'all asked about his confidence all week and y'all just saw him there. Shoot, you can't ask for anything better than that one." Browning leaned on Chase throughout the game. Chase finished with 11 catches on 12 targets for 149 yards, including his long touchdown reception. On that play, Chase turned around and had some words for Jaguars safety Andre Cisco. Before the game, Chase said he told Higgins that he was in the mood to stir things up. "I just felt like being an evil person today," said Chase, who also surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the third time in as many NFL seasons. Chase and Browning menaced Jacksonville's defense as the Bengals snapped a 14-game road losing streak in prime-time games, the longest in NFL history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. After the game, Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Browning "lit the world on fire" and that the performance could have a significant impact on the locker room. "We can see the intangible stuff and the preparation he puts in," Taylor said. "But when he goes out there and he leads the team like he did, I certainly think it raises the entire confidence level of the team." With five games left in the regular season, Cincinnati's win gives the team an outside shot of reaching the playoffs for a third consecutive season. Four of Cincinnati's remaining opponents have top quarterbacks facing injuries. Cincinnati was aware of the impact Browning's big night and the road victory had on its playoff outlook. "We're just getting ourselves one step closer to get our foot in the door," Chase said. "And once we get in the door, we should kick it down." https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/39045502/bengals-qb-jake-browning-finds-familiar-feeling-leading-ot-win-vs-jaguars
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