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Three Thoughts on the Bengals' 24-21 Win Over the Jaguars

Cincinnati is 3-1 for the first time since 2018.

CINCINNATI — The Bengals rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat the Jaguars 24-21 on Thursday night. 

Here are three thoughts on the victory: 

Joey Franchise 

C.J. Uzomah calls Joe Burrow "Joey Franchise." The nickname fits, especially after what we saw on Thursday night. 

Burrow completed 25-of-32 passes (78.1%) for 348 yards and two touchdowns. He led the Bengals on four straight scoring drives in the second half.

"That's him," Tyler Boyd said after the game. "He gets better and better as pressure comes on. As games go later and later, he gets better and better. We feed off that and we feel it."

In just his fourth game back from a brutal left knee injury, Burrow shined on a national stage. 

"I think I've gotten better and better each week. Last week the defense played so well that I didn't have to do a lot," Burrow said. "And then tonight, there's gonna be games like that where you have to step up and make plays. I'm really happy with my performance tonight. I'm just going to keep building on this and getting better and better."

If Thursday's performance is any indication, Burrow is not only a franchise quarterback, but he has a chance to be one of the best in the game. The 24-year-old received one of the three game balls that head coach Zac Taylor handed out following the win. 

Have a Day, C.J. 

Uzomah praised Burrow, but he deserves a ton of credit. He finished with five receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 25-yard reception on a jailbreak screen that set up Evan McPherson's game-winning field goal as time expired.

"He never knows when his opportunities are coming, they've been limited this year," Taylor said. "When his number's called, he just makes plays. He caught a keeper for a touchdown, he caught a scramble drill for a touchdown. He caught a jailbreak screen that I promise you we've never worked in practice. He just knew exactly what to do, ran it correctly and got us into field goal range."

Uzomah only had four receptions for 39 yards in the Bengals' first three games. With Tee Higgins out, they needed someone to step up and that's exactly what the veteran did. 

Uzomah and Boyd both received game balls for their performances. Boyd finished with nine receptions for 118 yards. 

Taylor Time

Taylor entered the season with a 6-25-1 record as head coach of the Bengals. He's bolstered that win total by 50% in less than a month. 

This team could've mailed it in at halftime or started pointing fingers when they were trailing by two touchdowns. 

They didn't quit. They didn't wilt. They kept their composure and responded. 

They were missing key pieces on offense and defense, with Jessie Bates, Chidobe Awuzie and Higgins out. They were playing on a short week. They didn't quit. 

Things weren't perfect in the second half, but Taylor deserves credit for a 3-1 start. This team looks different than it has in recent seasons.

No one knows if it'll last, but the third-year head coach is off to a great start.

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