The Cincinnati Bengals’ Week 13 Monday Night Football victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars was a long time coming for backup quarterback Jake Browning. Since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2019, he hasn’t played in a regular season game until this year when Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending wrist injury.

Playing in primetime under the bright lights of EverBank Stadium, the former Washington standout did not disappoint. He finished with 32 completions out of 37 attempts for 354 yards and a touchdown. Browning also had a rushing touchdown out of 22 yards.

His only touchdown pass was a 76-yard completion to All-Pro wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, giving them a 21-14 lead. Next Gen Stats projects the completion probability of that play at 36 percent. Nonetheless, Browning took a shot and gave Chase’s fourth touchdown against press coverage this season.

But when the Jaguars responded with 14 unanswered points, he made big-time throws to Chase and Tyler Boyd before scoring the tying touchdown.

His completions are vital in Cincinnati’s 34-31 overtime road victory over the Jaguars. Browning answered the call to lead a talented offense to keep their season alive.

At 6-6, the Bengals are just one game behind the Indianapolis Colts for the seventh and last spot in the AFC playoffs. Meanwhile, this stellar performance can boost Browning’s confidence as they keep their postseason drive alive.

It won’t be an easy finish, though, because they will face the Colts and the Minnesota Vikings in consecutive weeks. After which, the Bengals will have consecutive road games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cincinnati will wrap up the regular season at home against the Cleveland Browns. As of Week 13, all five teams are primed to enter the playoffs. Therefore, the Bengals might need more impressive performances from Browning to stay in contention.

-Lance Fernandez