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Everything Zac Taylor Had To Say After The Bengals-Jaguars Game

Q. Start by giving us your thoughts on Jake Browning's performance.

ZAC TAYLOR: Awesome. Outstanding. He had a great week of practice. I thought Thursday was outstanding and that's really our big day, third down day. I felt really good coming out this week, getting ready for this game. He just lit the world on fire. Halftime, I wasn't sure if we had an incompletion, if the ball hit the ground yet. Thought he managed the game well. He was aggressive with some of his throws. Did a great job making plays with his feet. One of the naked throws he made must have been to Mitch I would imagine, it was an outstanding throw with 41 right in his face. So just really proud of Jake and the job he did, and the guys rallying around him making plays for him, protecting him, run game getting going. It all helped Jake. Really proud of the team win, but really proud of Jake. In his second career start to come out here on Monday Night Football to do what he did is pretty cool.

Q. How did your game plan grow as you realized he was having a night like that? Early was short stuff and then you were able to throw it down the field.

ZAC TAYLOR: Yeah, part of it is getting a feel for what they're going to do. You got to feel them out a little bit. They've shown different games to play different styles, so you had to sort through that early in the game. I mean, yeah, there is no lie. Once the game gets going and he's completing balls like he is, it gives you the confidence, let's just keep dialing this thing up. He probably found a lot of completions in the run game, too. I bet he had six or seven completions on runs where he just took the RPOs off that thing. So it was a good day for everybody on offense.

Q. Is that knowledge of the offense?

ZAC TAYLOR: Yeah, I mean, there were some tough throws in there. Third down throw to Ja'Marr (Chase) on a bench route. We had (Joe) Mixon coming out of the back and we were backed up. It was a key third down. I don't remember what point in the game it was. It was right in front of me. That's a big-time throw. He probably could have taken Mixon underneath for the first down but got a litle more aggressive and took Ja'Marr over the top. The awareness to see Ja'Marr one on one on that third down for the touchdown was good stuff too. Great throw over the top. Ja'Marr, never breaks stride and keep going. Did a great job hitting Tee (Higgins) on some of the RPOs. Yeah, in a really good rhythm

Q. The check on the Ja'Marr touchdown, is that like...

ZAC TAYLOR: No, no. It was a three by one and he took the alert there.

Q. You guys are up 21-14 and in the blink of an eye you're down 28-21.

ZAC TAYLOR: Yeah, it's an explosive team we're playing against. I thought our guys did a great job overcoming the sudden change. We had the turnover. That could have broken our back there and our guys rallied around it and kept going and our offense had confidence, defense had confidence they could get them off the field. We just stuck with it and kept playing ball. There was a lot of game left to be played there, and our guys just stuck together like they have all year and made a game of it and found a way to win.

Q. What happened on that play?

ZAC TAYLOR: It's play -- we've had explosive plays on several times over the years. We had one at the Jets a couple years ago. One against the Browns at home couple years ago. We executed it well and practice it all season. Josh Allen, I have to see the clip. It's tough when a receiver is not used to throwing the ball. Took a litle longer than we normally anticipate. That's part of making a call like that. You got to live with that. He doesn't practice quarterback. He doesn't go through every situation. Usually when we call that play in practice we give a vanilla look, an easy look to get the rep. It was a litle tougher than anticipated and Josh made a good play.

Q. Two-part question on the run game. Heading into this game, Jacksonville had one the best run defenses coming into the game. Was it planned to have 31 rushing attempts? And if not, what do you think led to you being able to be so productive on the ground this week?

ZAC TAYLOR: I thought our linemen did a great job. I thought the backs were really explosive when they hit the hole. They did a great fighting for yardage. Hitting it when they were supposed to. Jake (Browning) did a really good job managing it. There was a lot of check plays that he had to manage there and distribute the ball in the perimeter. So I just thought it was a really good plan. Really well executed
by the guys on offense, starting with the linemen, running backs, and then Jake did a nice job, too. It helped us get a really good rhythm on offense and I think keep them off balance. We had several nakeds and screens and I think just helped everybody.

Q. You talked about rallying behind Jake Browning. How important is it for the team in the locker room to see his performance.

ZAC TAYLOR: Yeah, you know, with however many games we have left, I think when you see that from a guy that's never had the opportunity to show it before outside of Pitsburgh game, it gives a boost of confidence. There is no question about it. We've seen it every day and coached quarterbacks our whole life. We can see the intangible stuff and the preparation he puts in. But when he goes out there and he leads the team like he did, I certainly think it raises the entire confidence level of the team.

Q. Obviously this has been a tough month. How good does this feel?

ZAC TAYLOR: You know, yeah, you don't want to lose games like that, but sometimes -- and I think I've mentioned this before, there is a silver lining there. It puts a real spotlight on the character in the locker room. No one pointed fingers, and there is plenty of opportunity to. Offense to defense, defense to offense, whatever you wanted to do, it could've been done. Players coaches, those guys stuck together and kept believing. Just put in their best week of work. As a head coach that gets a chance to watch that firsthand it really made me proud, made me confident. The team did not have false confidence coming into this game. We have real players in this locker room. Even though we lost one of our best players, there is confidence other guys are going to step up and help us win a lot of games down the stretch. So, yeah three games stinks to lose. We told our team we had a chance to flip that narrative and we got to be in the process of that. One game doesn't do that. But I'm excited to go back to work with the short week this week and get these guys ready for Indy

Q. Jake Browning's performance probably overshadows Ja'Marr Chase's game today, but 149 yards. How do you think Ja'Marr was?

ZAC TAYLOR: Awesome. Awesome. And he had some key third and fourth down catches there. He is so hard to bring down, so any time you get the ball in his hands it's a challenge. Stressful for the defense. I know that. So I thought he played really well for us.

Q. How much did the success of the run game help the quarterback?

ZAC TAYLOR: It certainly helps him when you get into a rhythm like that, and we converted some third downs that kept us in a roll there. I thought Jake was outstanding on third down. Last week third down was really what got us. This week I thought he knocked it out of the park and got some really good checks. One of them hit big on a screen he got to; the other one didn't. That's life. I just thought that he managed that really well. The communication with him and Ted (Karras) and the linemen up front was really good. He did a great job on the road. It was loud. It was maybe louder than I anticipated, but he did a good job managing that noise and getting our the huddle quickly and being able to communicate the checks, and I thought it was really well done.

Q. On fourth and three, Ja'Marr Chase had just dropped it and it was third and three. Did you think about going for the field goal and what was going through your mind?

ZAC TAYLOR: No, really didn't think about that for one second. You know, we were down seven, correct? Yeah, down seven at that point. So, no it was time to go score a touchdown there and be aggressive and go get it, and our guys did a good job executing that fourth down call

Q. Went right back to Ja'Marr Chase.

ZAC TAYLOR: It was a progression. It wasn't called for one person. That play actually took a while to develop and he found Ja'Marr with the ball, but there were multiple people involved.

Q. Is anything in particular about this performance? What aspect that bolsters your confidence to make a playoff push?

ZAC TAYLOR: You got to be able to win. The Texans' game was similar to this, right, where it came down to the end, two minute, getting stops. I don't really think we been in games like this that came down to the last minute, other than that Houston game. Maybe I'm wrong. You guys can correct me. You need this in December to see that we'll win this way because you're going to be in other game like this as the stretch comes. So you got to learn from things that we can improve on, things we did really well, managing the situations. I think that's good for our team to have endured that on the road

Q. You bring up the Houston game. You guys learn anything from that that helped with tonight?

ZAC TAYLOR: No, I don't think necessarily that came to mind. Just good to be in those moments and reflect back on plays that ended up taking the game one direction or another. Man, I thought our guys made those plays tonight.

Q. Can we get your thoughts on Evan McPherson's kick there at the end? Been a while since you guys have needed to rely on him.

ZAC TAYLOR: Yeah, came through for us big time. He had the 55 yarder he drilled -- I think it was 55. He had the 48 at the end. That's a lot of pressure right there. They're going to get field position if you miss it and they just need a field goal to win it, so that's a high-pressure kick. And then the one earlier that came up short we were in a tough spot. We were right on the take-a-shot fringe field goal, but it was fourth and ten. You don't really want to go for the fourth and ten on the 39, don't want to punt on the 39, so we went for it. Came up, what, three inches short probably. I thought he kicked the ball really well. That one came up just a tick short. Those other two, man, he hit them when he need them.

Q. Great team walking off the field. Was that the best 20, 30 yards you had this season postgame?

ZAC TAYLOR: Yeah, I mean, just happy to get a win right now. I think that's good for this team, to get to 6-6 and keep ourselves right in the thick of it, because that's what you got to do right now. To be able to get this one on the road versus a really good -- I mean, I watch all their games. This is really good win for this team. We just got to continue to build on it