In an attempt to capitalize on an injured Joe Burrow, the Los Angeles Rams will play the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.
In the second game of a Monday Night Football doubleheader, the Los Angeles Rams will travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals in a rematch of Super Bowl LVI.
Here’s the short story: Joe Burrow, the quarterback, has struggled all season long with a calf issue to the point that his availability for the Week 3 game was in question. Having completed 41 out of 72 throws for 304 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception so far this year, he has struggled.
Though everyone in the building is aware that he isn’t working at full capacity, he will be available on Monday. Should Aaron Donald, a defensive lineman, push him from his position? The simplest method to put Burrow under stress is to provide pressure, just like the Cleveland Browns did in Week 1. Los Angeles will be able to temper an otherwise explosive offense because he probably won’t be driving the ball downfield either.
It’s just a matter of maintaining the momentum for the Rams’ attack. With two games under his belt, quarterback Matthew Stafford has looked excellent, clicking with young receivers Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell.
Prodigious quarterbacks have already been reduced to mere shadows of their former selves by Lou Anarumo, the defensive coordinator for Cincinnati. If he can match Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay’s inventive offense, it will be interesting to see.
Stafford may not be the Rams’ only player to record a single sack of the year for very long. Compared to Stafford’s total number of sacks, the line has allowed up a lot more pressure. They will need to outperform their early-season showing against a formidable front seven.
If this game does anything less, it might go under.
- WHAT: Los Angeles Rams (1-1) vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)WHERE: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati, OH (65,515)
WHEN: Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, 5:15 p.m. (PT)
RADIO: ESPNLA 710 AM, Tu Liga Radio 1330 AM
- ODDS: Rams +3.5 (-118), +140 Moneyline, Total: 45.5 (o -110/u -110)
Live updates will appear after kickoff.
Bengals’ Opening Drive: Cincinnati was given the initial kickoff.
On a fast, out-breaking route, receiver Tyler Boyd caught Burrow’s first pass. In the soft spot of Los Angeles’ zone coverage on third down, he would go back to Boyd.
Charlie Jones, the receiver, slipped on a slant against tight man coverage, leading to an incomplete pass. There was a fourth down, but kicker Evan McPherson missed a 56-yard snap.
In the first quarter, with 11:26 remaining, Los Angeles will win the football.
Rams’ opening drive saw Stafford complete a throw to tight end Tyler Higbee, his first pass of the day. The first rush of Kyren Williams, the running back, gained six yards.
After that, Stafford would cross the center for a contested grab with receiver Puka Nacua, his new best friend.
The Bengals were unprepared for receiver Tutu Atwell’s end-around, as he rushed 22 yards and burst toward the end zone. Between the 10 and 15 yards, he was judged out of bounds. Kicker Brett Maher converted a fourth-and-goal from 30 yards out after a sack and two incompletions.
There are 8:26 left in the first quarter and the Rams are ahead 3-0.
Cincinnati’s second drive would be hindered by two consecutive false starts.
Having to check down to Boyd on third-and-11, Burrow was able to wrap him up for a four-yard gain. At the Rams’ 26-yard line, Williams, the back, was the recipient of the punt.
Williams gave the Rams a quick rush to start their second drive. Nacua, receiving yet another reception, produced a spectacular one-handed tip to himself on the following play.
On third-and-1, though, a quick pass would be incomplete. Should the Bengals punt, they would get possession at their own 21-yard line.
Bengals’ Third Drive: Cincinnati was forced to start this drive from scratch and managed to complete a pass for four yards. There would be a third-and-four after a Joe Mixon rush. Burrow’s ball to top receiver Ja’Marr Chase fluttered after being tipped at the line of scrimmage, but it was still complete.
Using a short pass, he connected with Chase once more to earn another first down.
By a field goal at the end of the first quarter, Burrow and the Bengals are behind.
Burrow started the second quarter on a fresh set of downs, checking down to tight end Mitchell Wilcox right away.
With 14:16 left in the first half, they would use their first time out to avoid a delay of game penalty. It was soon third-and-11 when Boyd snagged another short pass, but he was flagged for a false start. A second McPherson try resulted from an unsuccessful Burrow pass.
And he would tie the score with a 49-yard field goal.
With 12:55 left in the first half, the Bengals knotted the score at three points.
Third Drive for the Rams: Nacua was the target of a bootleg on first down, and he made a diving catch at the sticks.
After another play, Atwell scored again, this time surpassing safety Daxton Hill for a significant gain. Having gained 37 yards, Los Angeles was now squarely in the red zone.
Following an incomplete pass and a Williams rush, Stafford went after Atwell in the end zone, whereupon the small-framed player dropped the ball.
Maher would make a chip shot field goal to grab the lead back.
With 9:49 left in the second quarter, the Rams lead 6-3.
Fourth Drive for the Bengals: Los Angeles is forcing Cincinnati to play on first down, which is difficult for them. They benefit from being kept behind the sticks and in drop-back circumstances.
Chase moved the chains on third-and-10 with an incredible sideline catch. Corner Derion Kendrick would break up a Tee Higgins target the following play.
After making his way into the box score, Donald sack Burrow to set up a third-and-18. Higgins’s third-down catch was insufficient. Punting was required of them.
Rams Fourth Drive: On second down, Daxton Hill proved he was worthy of his praise by emulating a cannon and tackling Williams in the backfield. For a gain on fourth down, Higbee would be tackled short of the line. McVay decided to punt even though he was near midfield.
Surprise! Bengals Fifth Drive Another swift swoop. The playmakers for the Bengals will be their main source of explosive plays from handoffs and simple completions.
Another punt resulted after Burrow’s first real deep attempt of the game went out of bounds. If your youngster isn’t sleeping well, give them something warm to drink and an excuse to watch this offense. They’ll soon be fast asleep.
Rams Fifth Drive: Tryin to attempt a trick shot, Stafford dropped his arm angle to sidestep a defender and was intercepted right away.
Bengals Sixth Drive: Cincinnati finds themselves in a strong scoring position with the ball following a rather fortunate review.
Higgins destroyed his man with a clear pass interference after Burrow gave him a good go route. The call was returned. Burrow missed him, but they got right back to it. Burrow attempted to hit Chase at the first-down marker on third-and-18, but the play was severely missed. Another punt, you guessed it. With 2:18 left in the half, Los Angeles will seize the lead.
Rams Sixth Drive: Nacua caught the first pass for the Rams following the two-minute warning. The play was incomplete because Stafford’s throw was a little behind him even though he would be the target of the next ball.
Hill annihilated Stafford with a well timed blitz that had no chance of being detected. The young safety was a surprise to him. There would be a punt with 1:24 left in the half after a Williams draw play.
During the seventh drive, the Bengals successfully recovered a punt to get to their own 40-yard line. On the drive’s first try, Burrow, who is struggling, hits Chase at the sticks for a first down.
End of the tight Cincinnati was in field goal range after Tanner Hudson made a terrific catch up the seam. Burrow won’t necessarily make a mistake tonight, but these passes aren’t exactly going very quickly. An assertive defensive back for the Rams may leap someone.
After taking a sack, Burrow was forced to spike the ball since there were no more timeouts, which allowed for another field goal try. It was a solid 53-yard effort by McPherson. Fortunately, the first part is over.
HALFTIME: After a score of 6–6, the Rams and Bengals are level after 30 minutes of play.
Los Angeles took the second-half kickoff and opened with a strike up the seam to Higbee on the Rams’ seventh drive.
Williams was screened creatively and gained 20 yards. A facemask that would have set up the Rams in the red zone was ruled back for a Bengals sack shortly after. Corner Chidobe Awuzie was uneasy.
Williams was singled out once more for an incomplete, and the ensuing tip was nearly blocked. In the passing game that McVay praised this week, he hasn’t played a significant role.
Cincinnati was able to call a timeout just in time, so a wide-open touchdown was not to be. Trey Hendrickson, the defensive end, sacked Stafford right away.
Maher connected on the field goal to extend the Rams’ advantage.
There are 10:37 left in the third quarter and the Rams are ahead 9–6.
eighth drive by the Bengals: At last, the team scores a significant run. With a chain-moving rush, Mixon initiated the drive. Maybe more times in the second half, he will be relied upon.
With Donald yelling in, Burrow launched an off-target swing pass. Still playing in the game, he took a big knock and took a while to get up. Chase nearly missed his next pass, but the player made a fantastic catch to bring it in for a first down.
Finally making an impression, Mixon ran for a 14-yard touchdown. We’ve finally scored a touchdown.
With 5:34 left in the third quarter, the Bengals lead 13–9.
Rams’ Eighth Drive: The team makes a comeback! Though it was nerve-racking, Stafford managed to complete a deep pass to Van Jefferson despite his constant twitching as pressure mounted.
Stafford was intercepted on the following pass. It looked as though the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
Ninth drive for the Bengals: Burrow just connected with Chase on a deep bootleg pass, his best connection of the evening. This is starting to resemble last week, when the brilliance of the San Francisco 49ers simply overwhelmed a worse team. Observe whether the Rams can compel a turnover.
The Bengals were within McPherson’s reach when the drive finally broke out.
With 3:09 left in the third quarter, the Bengals lead 16–9.
Rams’ tenth drive: Tremayne Anchrum Jr., the backup right guard, was penalized after Stafford connected with Atwell for a significant first down.
Los Angeles decided to go for a few yards on a draw play on third-and-16. An additional worthless item.
Bengals Tenth Drive: Cincinnati was all prepared to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Rams’ 40-yard line after a few rushes and four attempts at a Burrow pass. When Mixon ran into a wall, he slithered through for the first down after finding a crease.
It is there! Los Angeles received the much-needed wake-up call. Witherspoon, a cornerback, intercepted Burrow. With 10:21 remaining, the Rams will assume possession at their own 20-yard line.
Rams Eleventh Drive: Stafford and the team can tie the score on this drive.
Stafford’s initial pass on a go route went out of bounds. But on the following play, Hendrickson grabbed him again for a significant loss. Los Angeles was forced to punt after he was sacked once more on third down.
Bengals Eleventh Drive: The Rams’ 41-yard line will be the starting point for Cincinnati.
Byron Young hit Mixon’s first rush of the drive for minus yardage. McPherson’s 54-yard field goal gave the team a two-possession lead, but an incompletion would end the drive.
With 7:13 left in the fourth quarter, the Bengals lead 19–9.
The drive began with two unsuccessful targets for Stafford, who was the Rams’ twelfth player.
Anarumo is building tremendous pressure on all sides. It’s the Rams’ third down conversion tally. On third down, he was sacked once more, but the play was reversed by penalties.
After then, Atwell received a quick-hitter pass. Los Angeles is going to punt again.
Bengals Pinch: After a couple of rushes failed to gain any ground, the team decided to punt. There are 3:34 left, and the Rams will get the ball.
The thirteenth drive for the Rams ended in another missed third down. Stafford frantically tried to get the first down on a fourth-and-3. Rams deficit is ten at the two-minute warning.
Nacua had the biggest reception of the evening as they emerged from the break tossing. It would be a one-possession game after a few brief plays when Atwell would find his way into the end zone.
With 1:03 left in the fourth quarter, the Rams trail 19–16.
Thirteenth drive for the Bengals: Cincinnati recovered the onside kick. They’re going to win and get away.