With Ja’Marr Chase out with an injury during overtime, Jake Browning had to turn to other receivers in today’s contest to help pick up the win.
Obviously, the play by Tyler Boyd in OT was incredible, but it was the play of Tee Higgins that helped propel the Bengals to get to that point.
Higgins has had an injury-riddled season that was also marred by drops. He had a brutal drop on the Bengals’ first drive of the game. Higgins then had a ball he had a chance to grab that would have put the Bengals in the red zone toward the end of the first half, but he couldn’t keep it from touching the ground. It was ruled incomplete after a booth review.
When the fourth quarter began, Higgins didn’t have a single catch, and it felt like the Bengals’ playoff hopes were slipping away.
That’s when the magic began.
With the Bengals trailing 17-3, Higgins brought in a 13-yard scoring pass to cut the deficit to one score for his first grab of the day.
On the Bengals’ next possession, Higgins caught a 14-yard pass that put the team deep in Minnesota territory. That drive ended with a Joe Mixon touchdown to tie the game.
After the Vikings responded with a TD to go back ahead, the Bengals offense had 3:48 left in regulation to drive the length of the field without Ja’Marr Chase, who was lost to a right shoulder injury.
Higgins would haul in a 13-pass that put the Bengals back deep into Minnesota territory, then ended the drive with a spectacular 21-yard score to tie the game, and it eventually went into overtime, where the Bengals would come away with the 27-24 victory.
It looked like the ball was going to be intercepted, but Higgins outmuscled the Vikings for the ball, then stretched the ball into the end zone, giving him two touchdowns in the quarter after entering the game with just two scores for the entire season.
Higgins finished the game with four catches for 61 yards, and caught both touchdown passes thrown by Browning on the afternoon. Higgins was also the most-targeted receiver for the Bengals today, with eight total targets.
With no clarity on how long Chase could be out with the shoulder injury, this Bengals offense may now rely heavily on Higgins and hope he can replicate today’s performance. With all games remaining against teams with winning records, it won’t be an easy slate, but there has never been a better time for Higgins to return to his star form than now and help the Bengals make it back to the NFL Playoffs.
Just an unbelievable catch and stretch by Tee Higgins for the TD pic.twitter.com/B7ZUxCTbRP— Cincinnati (@CincyProblems) December 16, 2023