The Cincinnati Bengals powered through in their important clash against the Rams on Monday night.
The Bengals have had a rough start to their season, with their win against the Rams coming after two losses in their opening two fixtures of the 2023-2024 NFL season.
The Rams, who over the trade window made some unexpected trades, were overlooked as contenders for this season but managed to prove their mettle in a Week 1 win against the Seahawks.
Bengals Baited By Rams Attitude
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who has been battling with a calf injury since the summer, was baited into making mistakes downfield by the Rams, who played with a fearless attitude throughout the game.
The Rams forced Burrow into making errors, reducing his trademark deep throws, which is a key feature of the Bengals’ offense.
Despite his calf injury, Burrow returned to the field, showing his mental fortitude and helping his team win their first game of what has been a rough start to the season. Chase and Higgins supported Burrow in making crucial plays. The return of Burrow may be the key to helping the Bengals get back on track following two losses in the first two game weeks of the season.
The Bengals’ offense struggled in the first half, averaging 3.8 yards gained per play. They were held back with false starts on third down, stalling multiple drives.
Burrow, who is usually very accurate, completed only 54.8% of his passes in the first half, a stark contrast from his lofty standards.
The Bengals failed to go downfield on a consistent basis through their receivers, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.
Matthew Stafford Struggles
The Bengals were kept in the game due to the Rams own quarterback, Matthew Stafford, struggling to make plays despite the immense support given by a resolute Rams’ defense.
Stafford was sacked six times and threw two interceptions, completing just 18 of 33 pass attempts for 269 yards and just a singular touchdown.
The Rams were excellent in their playmaking in the first half but failed to take advantage, especially in the red zone.
Stafford’s interceptions proved costly, as they allowed the Bengals to take the lead in the second half.
The Rams now face pressure to win their upcoming games against the Colts, Eagles, and Cardinals.
Are Bengals Ready To Be Considered As Super Bowl Contenders?
With their victory over the Rams, the Bengals now seemed to have returned into the position of being considered contenders for the Super Bowl.
They were able to bounce back from a 0-2 start last season and reach the AFC Final, which has given them the confidence they need.
With a dynamic offense and a steady defense, the Bengals have put themselves in a position to be considered favorites for the AFC title, with stiff competition coming from the Chiefs, Dolphins, Bills, and Ravens.
With their losing start now behind them, the Bengals now look to reach the top, just as many had predicted before their poor start to the season.