Cincinnati Bengals News: Can Jake Browning Lead the Bengals to the Playoffs?

Are the Bengals Wild Card contenders again? Recapping Jake Browning's MNF performance and more on the latest edition of The PFN Cincinnati Bengals Podcast.

If Jake Browning keeps playing like he did against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night, the Cincinnati Bengals‘ QB2 might be able to get his club back in the AFC playoff race. Cincinnati’s Week 13 win kept the team’s postseason hopes alive — can the Bengals keep it going?

On the most recent edition of The PFN Bengals Podcast, we recap Bengals-Jaguars before previewing preview Cincinnati’s upcoming game against the Indianapolis Colts.

PFN Bengals Podcast: Jake Browning’s Big Night on MNF

No one expected much from Browning, who struggled in his first career NFL start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13. The Bengals hardly appeared to have a shot at the playoffs after losing Joe Burrow to a season-ending wrist injury in Week 12, and eyes had already turned to next year’s free agent and draft plans.

But Browning carved up Jacksonville’s defense, missing on just five of 37 attempts while averaging more than nine yards per pass. Joe Mixon and Chase Brown combined for the Bengals’ best rushing performance of the year, while Ja’Marr Chase posted what’s become a typical receiving line: 11-149-1.

Monday’s win — a 34-31 overtime victory over a Jaguars team that would have been the AFC’s No. 1 seed had they emerged victorious against Cincinnati — gives the Bengals a chance at a Wild Card berth.

Sure, Cincinnati’s odds are long. They’re still competing with a cavalcade of AFC teams for the fifth through seventh seeds, including the Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Colts, Denver Broncos, and Buffalo Bills.

MORE: Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor Describes, Defends Trick-Play Disasters at Jacksonville

But the Steelers, Browns, and Broncos all lost in Week 13. Meanwhile, the Bengals will have the opportunity to face three Wild Card contenders — Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Indianapolis — to close the season, allowing them to play their way into the dance.

Can Cincinnati keep marching toward the postseason with a win over the Colts on Sunday? How can Zac Taylor and Brian Callahan exploit Indy’s defensive tendencies, and can Lou Anarumo’s unit stop Indy WR Michael Pittman Jr. and RB Zack Moss from generating explosive plays?

We’ll be returning to your airwaves each and every week — join us next week when we recap Bengals-Colts and preview Cincinnati’s Week 15 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more! 

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