Rams News | Los Angeles Rams – therams.com
CINCINNATI – The Rams (1-2) fell to the Bengals 19-16 Monday night at Paycor Stadium.
The Rams reached the Bengals’ 40-yard line with two minutes remaining after a 7-yard scramble by quarterback Matthew Stafford for a fourth-down conversion. A sack before the 2-minute warning for an 8-yard loss gave Los Angeles 2nd and 18 coming out of that break.
Nonetheless, the Rams overcame that with a 37-yard completion from Stafford to wide receiver Puka Nacua that set them up at the Bengals 3-yard line. After a 2-yard run by Kyren Williams, Stafford connected with wide receiver Tutu Atwell for a 1-yard touchdown pass to cut the Rams’ deficit to three with 1:03 left.
However, the ensuing onside kick was unsuccessful, and with only one timeout remaining, the Rams could not stop the clock enough times to try to get the ball back, as the Bengals took a knee three times to seal the victory.
Los Angeles was 1 for 11 on third down and 1-for-4 in the redzone in the loss, also committing two turnovers. The majority of its points came from kicker Brett Maher, who converted from distances of 30, 23 and 42 yards. A 14-yard touchdown run by running back Joe Mixon and a pair of field goals by kicker Evan McPherson helped Cincinnati (1-2) pull away in the second half, as the Bengals outscored the Rams 13-10 across the third and fourth quarter.
Stafford completed 18 of 33 pass attempts for 269 yards with one touchdown against two interceptions in the loss and was also sacked six times as the Rams dealt with injuries to their offensive line.
Starting left tackle Alaric Jackson left the game late in the first half with a thigh injury and was questionable to return, before being ruled out early in the fourth quarter. He was replaced by Zach Thomas.
Starting right guard Joe Noteboom left the game late in the third quarter with a knee injury and was questionable to return; he would return with just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Here is the complete game recap:
The Bengals leaned on their run game and quick passes to take some pressure off of quarterback Joe Burrow (active despite calf injury) on their opening drive, but were unable to come away with points after kicker Evan McPherson’s 56-yard field goal attempt missed wide left.
The Rams moved quickly after the change of possession, reaching the Bengals’ 24-yard line three plays later. Atwell appeared to score on a 24-yard touchdown run off a wide receiver reverse – taking the toss from Stafford after Stafford faked to Williams – but officials overturned the call upon further review, resulting in a 22-yard run for Atwell instead that put the Rams at the Bengals 2-yard line.
After that, a sack and back-to-back incompletions by Stafford forced the Rams to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Maher for an early 3-0 lead.
Similar to their first offensive series, a false start penalty on third down derailed the Bengals’ third series and forced them to settle for a 49-yard field goal by McPherson early in the second quarter.
A 37-yard completion from Stafford to Atwell helped set up the Rams’ second field goal, a 23-yarder by Maher to regain the lead 6-3 with 9:52 left in the second quarter.
A little over six minutes later, Stafford was intercepted by Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson as he side-armed a pass intended for wide receiver Van Jefferson in an attempt to avoid taking a sack. Officials reviewed the call and upheld the original call, giving Cincinnati the ball at the Los Angeles 41.
An offensive pass interference penalty against Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins negated a deep completion from Burrow that would’ve set them up inside the Rams’ 5-yard line. After that, back-to-back incompletions by Burrow forced the Bengals to punt with 2:30 left in the first half.
The Bengals tied the game 6-6 on a 53-yard field goal by McPherson at the end of the first half.
The Rams regained the lead 9-6 via a 42-yard field goal by Maher at the end of their second half-opening drive.
However, Cincinnati responded on the ensuing drive with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that lasted just over five minutes and was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown run by Mixon to regain the lead 13-9.
Although Los Angeles quickly reached Cincinnati territory with a 46-yard completion from Stafford to wide receiver Van Jefferson, Stafford after that play was intercepted a second time by Wilson, giving the Bengals the ball back at their own 22 with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
Shortly thereafter, play action off of a fake toss got the Rams defense to bite and helped Burrow hit wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase for a 43-yard completion. Despite the explosive play, the Rams managed to hold the Bengals to a 48-yard field goal by McPherson to make it 16-9 Bengals with 3:09 left in the third quarter.
An early fourth-quarter interception by defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon gave the Rams a chance to mount a potential game-tying scoring drive, but the Rams went 3-and-out on the ensuing possession and were forced to punt with 8:57 remaining.
A 54-yard field goal by McPherson increased the Bengals’ lead to 19-9 with 7:13 to go. The Rams eventually answered with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Atwell to make it 19-16 with 1:03 remaining, but the ensuing onside kick try to get the ball back was unsuccessful.
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