Just as the Folsom Bulldogs hit the road to compete for a fifth state title in Southern California, one of their former players made more national headlines on Wednesday afternoon. Former Folsom Bulldog Jake Browning was awarded his first ever Player of the Week award in the National Football League (NFL) Wednesday. 

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Now a starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, Browning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his outstanding performance in the team’s 34-31 overtime win at the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, a feat that kept the team’s playoff hopes alive.

Making just his second career start, Browning completed 32 of 37 passes (86.5 percent) for 354 yards and one TD with zero INTs. He led all NFL passers in Week 13 in completions, completion percentage and passing yards. Browning’s 86.5 completion percentage marked the fifth highest in a game in Bengals history (minimum 20 attempts), and the highest in NFL history by a QB in one of his first two career starts.

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Jake Browning’s best plays from 376-yard game Week 13

Browning’s 354 passing yards were the second most in team history by a QB within his first two starts behind Jeff Blake, who passed for 387 yards in his second start on Nov. 6, 1994 at Seattle. Browning became the 10th QB in the Super Bowl era to pass for 350 or more yards with a completion percentage of 85 or higher.

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Browning completed nine of his 11 passing attempts on third down, including a 76-yard TD to WR Ja’Marr Chase in the third quarter that marked the Bengals’ longest play from scrimmage this season. In the overtime period, Browning went four of five for 36 yards to lead Cincinnati into position for the game-winning FG. During the drive, he completed a 17-yarder to Chase and an 11-yarder to WR Tee Higgins on third-and-10.

Browning also rushed for 22 yards on two carries, including a one-yard sneak for a TD in the fourth quarter that tied the game. Later in the quarter, he scrambled for 21 yards to help set up a go-ahead FG with 2:33 remaining.

This is Browning’s first career AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. He is the third Bengals player to be named AFC Offensive Player of the Week this season, following WR Ja’Marr Chase in Week 5 and QB Joe Burrow in Week 8.

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During his stint as quarterback for the Folsom Bulldogs, Browning claimed state records for the most touchdown passes in a single season and was named State Player of the Year for California twice, an award presented to the top high school football player in every state. During is time in Folsom he not only scored state records but also broke national records when he threw for 91 touchdown passes in his senior year.

During his time at Folsom Browning wasn’t only known for his athletic accomplishments but performed academically as well, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Browning will look to build on his performance as the Bengals welcome the Colts on Sunday.

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