Monday Night Football: Bengals hold off Rams 19-16 for first win
It wasn’t sexy. It wasn’t decisive. It wasn’t thrilling.
But a win is a win is a win.
After opening the season 0-2 for the second consecutive year, the Bengals will take the 19-16 win over Rams without complaint. The Rams also now are 1-2.
The Bengals had taken a two-score lead with 13 consecutive points in the second half before Tutu Atwell caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford with 1:03 left. It was the Rams’ first touchdown of the game. Mitchell Wilcox recovered the onside kick for the Bengals to dash the Rams’ comeback hopes.
The Bengals had six sacks of Stafford, including two by Trey Hendrickson, as the Rams offensive line lost left tackle Alaric Jackson (thigh) and right guard Joe Noteboom left for a while with a knee injury.
Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson made two interceptions, and safety Dax Hill had a team-high eight tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss.
Stafford was 18-of-33 for 269 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Rookie receiver Puka Nacua caught five passes for 72 yards, and Tutu Atwell had five touches for 72 yards.
Aaron Donald had seven tackles and a sack for the Rams, but it wasn’t enough even against a gimpy Joe Burrow.
Burrow went 26-of-49 for 259 yards with an interception, an incredible pick by Ahkello Witherspoon. Ja’Marr Chase caught 12 passes for 141 yards, and Joe Mixon ran for 65 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
Bengals kicker Evan McPherson missed from 56 yards before making kicks of 49, 53, 48 and 54 yards.
Burrow, who was questionable to play because of his calf injury, said he did not have a setback by playing.
“We’re getting there,” he told Laura Rutledge on the ESPN broadcast. “Every week will be better as long as there’s no more setbacks. Today, we got through it.”