Ja’Marr Chase set a single-game record Monday night while helping the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) secure their first win of the season by defeating the Los Angeles Rams (1-2), 19-16.
Chase’s career high in receptions for a single game was 11, but he broke that milestone with 12 receptions on 15 targets for a game-high 141 yards. Chase is still looking for his first touchdown of the season, though, as he didn’t find the end zone for the third straight game – marking the longest streak of his career.
It obviously wasn’t because quarterback Joe Burrow wasn’t looking his way. It was a true game-time decision for head coach Zac Taylor and the Bengals, as Burrow was working hard to be able to suit up with an injured calf holding him back.
Burrow was eventually named the starter, and though the box score didn’t have any passing touchdowns, he had a solid night under center.
Burrow finished 26 of 49 through the air with 259 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
The Bengals didn’t score their first touchdown until the third quarter when they finally found the end zone on their eighth drive of the game.
It was a 10-play drive by Burrow, going 75 yards that was capped by Joe Mixon’s first touchdown of the season – a 14-yard rush where he went virtually untouched thanks the Bengals’ offensive line.
Mixon finished with 65 yards on 19 carries, while catching one Burrow pass for five yards.
The Rams, on the other hand, could’ve found the end zone on multiple occasions in the first half, but never cashed in. It looked like speedy receiver Tutu Atwell was going to do it on the team’s first drive, as he took an end-around to the right side and dove across the goal line. However, after referees reviewed the play, they found that he stepped out of bounds at the two-yard line.
The Rams were in fantastic field position to punch one in for the early lead, but Matthew Stafford was sacked on the next play by D.J. Reader, pushing Los Angeles back nine yards. They were only able to get a field goal out of it, and that was the trend for the Rams all night.
Two drives later, the Rams were on the 12-yard line with a first down, but were ultimately forced to kick another field goal.
That’s a credit to the Bengals’ defense, a group that was pestering Stafford all night long. Stafford came into this game with just one sack over the first two contests, but the Bengals quickly changed that, knocking him to the turf six times. Trey Hendrickson led the way with two sacks, while Dax Hill, Sam Hubbard, and B.J. Hill added to Reader’s initial takedown.
Los Angeles was finally able to chalk up a touchdown at the end of the game, as budding star Puka Nacua caught a 37-yard Stafford pass that placed the Rams on Cincinnati’s three-yard line. Atwell found the end zone on a one-yard grab to make it a 19-16 game.
A failed onside kick attempt sealed the deal for the Bengals in a much-needed victory for a group that came into the game with the NFL’s worst offensive production in the first two weeks.
Stafford finished the game 18 of 33 for 269 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. His leading receiver was Nacua with 72 yards on five receptions, while tight end Tyler Higbee had 71 yards on five catches as well.
The Bengals will look to keep their winning spirit alive next week when they travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Rams have a meeting with the Indianapolis Colts, who shocked the Baltimore Ravens this past week to move to 2-1 on the year.