Tyler Boyd has had some iconic moments with the Cincinnati Bengals, perhaps most memorably his fourth and 12 touchdown catch from Andy Dalton that knocked the Baltimore Ravens out of the playoffs back in 2017.
On Saturday, Boyd delivered another marvelous play at the most pivotal point of a contest, this time teaming with Jake Browning to flip the momentum one last time in a wild game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The emerging QB found the veteran wide receiver between three defenders for a gain of 44 yards that would ultimately set up a game-winning field goal by Evan McPherson.
This throw by Browning was insane. That looks like he fit it in between 3 defenders pic.twitter.com/PrUnLq9e6J— Ace Boogie (@NewStripeCity) December 17, 2023
As often as we’ve seen Browning roll out and throw on the run, this one couldn’t have happened without some outstanding blocks from the underrated Trayveon Williams.
Boyd told Geoff Hobson what he was thinking on the play:
I was hoping he’d get it to me because I was open, but he got pressure... I was trying to stay in that area, nobody around for the first (down). But I went with him so he could see me. I tried to stay in a lane.
Browning saw him alright. And, on brand, he slung it with full confidence in his receiver. But there was only one problem. The star of the day, Tee Higgins, who had caught two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, was in Boyd’s vicinity. And so both Boyd and Higgins were confused as to who the ball was intended for. Here’s what Boyd said:
When I caught it, all I could see was Tee coming right at me... I thought the ball was going to him. I kind of clenched. But I was like, ‘You know what? If I get hit, it’s third down. Just go make a play.’
Browning, meanwhile, was surprised they were able to pull it off considering the Vikings’ coverage on the play, and the QB thinks the confusion about the intended receiver might’ve worked to Cincinnati’s advantage:
There’s not a lot of timing plays that are open when they drop eight... [Boyd] did a good job of coming back at a friendly angle. I think Tee thought he was getting the ball as well, so they kind of crossed full speed. TB got the ball, and I think that’s what spun him on the run. The DBs thought Tee was about to catch it, and the other half thought T.B. was doing it. Everybody just kind of ran into each other.
It was one of the biggest plays of the game, and as usual, Boyd had to wait for his time to shine:
I was a little frustrated. The game wasn’t coming my way [prior to the 44-yard reception in OT]. We have so many weapons we can use. Just try to patient and wait for when my number is called. Beginning of the game. End of the game. Whenever.
Unlike the previous two contests, Browning wasn’t in a rhythm to start the game. But he showed resilience and composure by coming through late in the game against an elite defense. We talked about how he passed his biggest test yet in our latest show:
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