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Home NFLCincinnati Bengals Bengals, Joe Burrow can learn, evolve from Jake Browning’s offense

Bengals, Joe Burrow can learn, evolve from Jake Browning’s offense

by Moxieplay

Nobody — maybe not even Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning himself — saw Monday night coming.

Who could have predicted that Browning, in his second start, would stroll into Jacksonville on primetime against a Jaguars team with No. 1 seed aspirations, and channel his inner Joe Burrow?

We’re talking full-go inner-Burrow, too, to the tune of a 32-of-37 line with 354 yards and one passing score, one rushing score. A couple of those incompletions were even drops and hey, a big chunk of those 22 rushing yards even came at a critical moment.

And there’s a lot Bengals coaches — and Burrow himself — can learn from the performance.

Because, with the obligatory tip of the hat to Browning, if this offense can do that with a backup, imagine what this offense can do with Burrow directing it.

In simplified terms:

Massive kudos go to Zac Taylor and coordinator Brian Callahan for seeing how dreadful Browning looked in Burrow’s offense during the 16-10 loss to Pittsburgh the week prior and reworking it on a week’s notice around the backup’s comfort level and skill set.

That included bootlegs. It included keeping an extra guy in to protect. Most polarizing of all, it included a commitment to the run, with the team’s 31 carries going for 156 yards and three scores on a 5.0 average. Take out the cover-your-eyes trick plays (emergency third quarterback, Tyler Boyd is not) and this felt like a near-perfect rendition of the Cincinnati offense.

And even so, a backup has no business doing this:

Yeah but! counterpoints will flow. But the Jaguars wouldn’t have played the same defense against Burrow. But the line won’t always win in the trenches like that. But the Jaguars are frauds, lost Trevor Lawrence, Browning will only regress from here, it goes on and on, etc. on more etc.

Even if all of that turns out to be true, the lessons should be obvious. Maybe humbling, too. The star quarterback has a key hand in helping to craft his offense. Seeing what a backup just did plugged into his role and with some changes that, frankly, outsiders have been clamoring for, should set off a big blinking button all involved shouldn’t have issue with pressing.

And hey, maybe this was more the plan before a non-contact calf injury over the summer, playing through it until finally getting right, then a season-ending wrist injury.

But this Jake Browning Game certainly isn’t a Tank Commander Ryan Finley moment. It’s potentially a wake-up call everyone needed once the calendar turns to 2024.

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