Jake Browning shines again for the Bengals, leading them to a 27-24 overtime win over the Vikings
CINCINNATI (AP) — Trailing 17-3 late in the third quarter behind an offense that was struggling to move the ball, the Bengals needed Jake Browning to be nearly perfect — and he was.
Browning led Cincinnati to three fourth-quarter touchdowns and directed the winning drive in overtime in his latest exceptional performance since taking over for injured Joe Burrow, and the Bengals beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-24 on Saturday to improve their position in the playoff race.
Browning won his third straight start and improved to 3-1 since Burrow suffered a season-ending right wrist injury in a loss to Baltimore. This time, he threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime, to… Fourth QB in the last two years To throw for at least that number of yards and two or more scores after three quarters.
“I feel like I need a beer,” said Browning, who beat the team that cut him off the coaching staff two years ago.
Tee Higgins went high over a Vikings defender to catch a 16-yard pass from Browning and Make a twisting move at the goal line for the tying touchdown With 39 seconds remaining in regulation.
Then, in overtime, Browning found rushing Tyler Boyd for a 44-yard completion that got Cincinnati (8-6) into Vikings territory and set up Evan McPherson’s game-ending 29-yard field goal.
“Jake’s pretty steady, you know?” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “He really is. He’s not bothered by negative play. He doesn’t overreact to it.”
Nick Mullins, the fourth quarterback to start a game this season for the Vikings, was solid in defeat. He passed for 303 yards with two TDs But he threw two interceptions.
“It’s a very tough football game,” Mullins said. “But these are the types of games you want to participate in.”
Minnesota (7-7) has lost three of four, with the only win in that stretch a 3-0 decision in Las Vegas that benched Joshua Dobbs in favor of Mullins, who has had more success finding the Vikings’ playmakers.
Jordan Addison had six catches for 111 yards and two TDs. Justin Jefferson had seven receptions for 84 yards in his first complete game since returning from a hamstring injury. He suffered a chest injury in the Raiders game.
“Nick did a great job today,” Jefferson said. “Especially with only one week of preparation as the starting midfielder. I feel like he came out confident today.”
Backup Ty Chandler had a career-high 132 yards and a touchdown for Minnesota. Chandler started in place of Alexander Matteson, who suffered a sprained ankle.
With five teams a half game behind them in the NFC standings, the Vikings could be out of playoff position by the end of the weekend.
“Very unfortunate,” Minnesota coach Kevin O’Connell said. “Come on the road and fight a team that’s playing well right now. I felt like we let someone get away.”
The Vikings let Browning off their practice squad in 2021. The Bengals selected him for their practice squad, and he won Burrow’s backup job before this season.
“I think after we made the field goal and won the game, I screamed at the camera and said, ‘They should never have hurt me,’” Browning said.
Late game tournaments
Browning took over the game late in the third quarter, throwing seven straight completions during a 75-yard drive for the Bengals’ first touchdown, a 13-yard strike to Higgins.
On the Bengals’ next possession, Browning hit Ja’Marr Chase for a 24-yard touchdown to convert a third-and-21. Joe Mixon’s 1-yard TD run tied it on 4th and goal for the game at 17 points.
Minnesota pulled ahead on Edison’s second play of the game before Browning and Huggins found a way to tie it up.
Higgins finished with four catches for 61 yards.
“All I can say is we always count on Tee Higgins,” Taylor said. “T stepped up big for us, those were the two big touchdowns he scored for us at the end of the game, and he also got some more runs across the middle at other points.”
Bengals: DT DJ Reader suffered a right leg injury early in the game and was declared out. … CB DJ Ivey left in the first quarter with a knee injury. … Chase exited with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.
Vikings: Host Detroit on Sunday, December 24.
Bengals: At Pittsburgh next Saturday.
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(Tags for translation) Athlete Injuries