Published by: Bear Acuda
“No Joe Burrow? No problem. No Ja’Marr Chase? I gotchu.”
Cincinnati backup quarterback Jake Browning has Bengals fans cheering his name across Ohio, again. The former Washington Huskies standout seems to have ice in his veins, as he miraculously converted a 3rd & 9 to WR Tyler Boyd, putting the Bengals into position to kick a game-winning field goal. Browning also did this without the help of superstar wideout Ja’Marr Chase. Since replacing franchise quarterback Joe Burrow three weeks ago, Browning has done nothing but win.
If you were smart enough to pick up Browning off of waivers in your fantasy football league, the kid has rewarded you. Browning’s last three games look like this:
vs. Jags: 376 total YDs, 2 total TD (W)
vs. Colts: 282 total YDs, 3 total TD, 1 INT (W)
vs. Vikings: 324 YDs, 2 TD, 1 INT (W)
While Browning deserves a lot of credit, he could not have gotten the win without the rest of his team producing in high-pressure moments, specifically on a crucial 4th down which gave the ball back to the Bengals in OT.
Tee Higgins made a ridiculous play at the goal line, catching a jump ball & round-house stretching the football into the endzone, tying the game and helping the Bengals reach overtime. Higgins became WR1 once Ja’Marr Chase left the game with an injury late in the ball game.
The Minnesota Vikings had their chances to win, but continuously couldn’t hold leads and could not convert a fourth down on what would be their last possession of the game. Vikings QB Nick Mullins would have two chances to get one yard, extending a drive in overtime, but was denied by the Bengals defense both times. Eventually, kicker Evan McPherson’s 29-yard field goal would clinch a 27-24 win for Cincinnati. This victory kept the Bengals’ playoff aspirations alive, despite the absence of their leading quarterback for the remainder of the season.
The overtime period also saw significant contributions from Tyler Boyd with a 44-yard reception and Joe Mixon with a 4-yard run, setting up McPherson for the decisive short field goal with 3:11 left on the clock.
Cincinnati managed to overturn a 17-3 deficit held by Minnesota, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Browning finished the game with 324 passing yards, completing 29 of 42 attempts, including two touchdowns and an interception, and connecting with 11 different receivers.
Nick Mullens, the fourth quarterback to start for the Vikings this season, threw for 303 yards, achieving two touchdowns and two interceptions. Ty Chandler, Minnesota’s backup running back, marked a personal best with 132 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Injuries were a concern for the Bengals, with DT DJ Reader exiting early due to a right leg injury, CB DJ Ivey suffering a knee injury in the first quarter, and WR Ja’Marr Chase leaving in the fourth quarter with a shoulder issue.
Looking ahead, the Vikings are set to host the Lions on Sunday, December 24, while the Bengals will face Pittsburgh the following Saturday with their playoff hopes still alive.