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Browning Heroics Help Bengals Beat Jags as Lawrence Suffers High Ankle Sprain

Jake Browning threw for 354 yards and a touchdown in his second career start, and the Cincinnati Bengals stunned the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-31 in overtime on Monday night.

Browning also ran for a score as the Bengals (6-6) won on Monday Night Football for the first time since 1990 on Evan McPherson’s 48-yard field goal. More than the result may prove costly for the Jaguars (8-4), who lost quarterback Trevor Lawrence to a right ankle injury late in the fourth quarter. Left tackle Walker Little stepped on Lawrence’s ankle, causing him to twist it as he was sacked. Lawrence tried to get up, but dropped to the ground, ripped off his helmet and threw it away in disgust.

He was helped off the field and into the tunnel for X-rays. On Tuesday, the Jaguars said the quarterback has suffered a high ankle sprain but would not put a timetable on his return. Lawrence is yet to miss a game in his three-year NFL career.

“We’ll see where he is here in the next couple of days,” Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson told reporters on Tuesday. The injury ended an otherwise stellar night for Lawrence, who completed 22 of 29 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score.

Browning was just as brilliant in place of Joe Burrow, who watched and coached from the sideline while wearing a cast and a sling. Browning completed 32 of 37 passes and directed the overtime drive that set up McPherson’s winner. McPherson, who played collegiately at nearby Florida, banged a 57-yarder off the crossbar in the same direction early in the game.

“Feels good, I definitely had to earn it,” Browning said when asked about his first professional win as a starter. “I thought we played a complete game on offense, the defense came up with the stops we needed. It’s been a long time since I won a game, so it feels good.

“It started up front where we were able to run the ball really well. That’s a credit to Joe Mixon and the o-line. Just having a week [to prepare] under my belt was huge. It’s not a fancy answer but that’s really what it was.”

Jacksonville backup CJ Beathard completed 9 of 10 passes for 63 yards in relief of Lawrence. Beathard put the Jaguars in position for Brandon McManus’ 40-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining in regulation, which leveled the score at 31-31.

Ja’Marr Chase caught 11 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, a 76-yarder in the third quarter that got the Bengals going. Joe Mixon ran for 68 yards and two scores, and rookie Chase Brown added 61 yards on the ground for the league’s worst rushing attack. Mixon also had six receptions for 49 yards.

“Boy had a hell of a game,” Bengals receiver Tee Higgins said of Browning after the game. “Y’all asked about his confidence all week and y’all just saw him there. Shoot, you can’t ask for anything better than that one.”

The Bengals made it harder than it should have been when coach Zac Taylor called a trick play that turned into a debacle in the third quarter. Browning lateraled to receiver Tyler Boyd, who inexplicably threw directly to pass rusher Josh Allen. Allen caught the ball for his second career interception. The Jaguars scored four plays later when Lawrence jumped and stretched the ball across the goal line.

It was the second bungled trick play for the Bengals, who also lost seven yards when Chase completed a double pass to Browning. Still, the Bengals finished with 491 yards and were 8 of 14 on third down.

Source: The Guardian