Before Monday night, Jake Browning for going undrafted despite a prolific college career at Washington. But the Bengals' emergency quarterback "lit the world on fire" in a 34-31 overtime upset of the Jaguars, coach Zac Taylor told reporters, suggesting to teammates that he's "QB1 material" in relief of injured star Joe Burrow.
"He just lit the world on fire," Taylor said, per NFL Media. "At halftime, I wasn't sure we had an incompletion, if the ball had hit the ground yet. I just thought he managed the game beautifully well. He was aggressive with some of his throws, did a great job making plays with his feet …(I'm) just really proud of Jake and the job he did. And the guys rallying around him, making plays for him, protecting him ... Really proud of the team win, but really proud of Jake in his second career start. To come out here on 'Monday Night Football' and do what he did today is pretty cool."
Browning, who won the Bengals' No. 2 QB job this offseason, finished 32 of 37 (86.5%) for 354 yards and a touchdown against Jacksonville, outdueling Trevor Lawrence to keep Cincinnati alive in the AFC playoff picture. He saved some of his best stuff for crunch time, including a deep scoring throw to Ja'Marr Chase, who had high praise for the QB after the game.
"He showed he's QB1 material," Chase said, per Bengals.com.
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When Burrow was lost for the season in November due to a wrist injury, the Bengals'according to most experts. Fresh off his prime-time showcase, Browning now has Cincinnati just one game back from the AFC's final wild-card spot.