Wins aren’t always pretty, but as long as you walk out with the win, that’s all that matters. It’s about how you fix the mistakes and move on to the next week.
While watching the game against the Rams, I heard ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky say a few times that the Cincinnati Bengals had enough to win. Over and over, this Bengals team has just enough. It wasn’t pretty, it was enough, though. That’s the perfect way to describe it.
Offensively, the first half was okay, at best. I couldn’t quite figure out what the issue was, but something wasn’t working. Burrow’s passes weren’t very accurate, and when they were, the receivers weren’t catching it, or the play would go for very few yards. The defense showed up and showed out and kept us alive in the first half. I was happy to see them get field goals, but those only go so far. Field goals don’t win games.
Defensively, you can’t ask for much more. They showed up ready to play for the whole 60 minutes. They fed off the stadium’s energy, and they attacked the Rams to rack up 6 sacks and a couple of interceptions by Logan Wilson.
Logan Wilson showed everyone just why he just signed a new contract in the offseason. He was all over the field, making tackles and scoping out the ball coming out of Stanford’s hands.
Once Ram’s left tackle Alaric Jackson left the game due to injury and was replaced by Tremayne Anchrum Jr., it was over for the Rams.
Trey Hendrickson in Week 3:— PFF (@PFF) September 26, 2023
91.5 pass rush grade
35.3% pass rush win rate
2 sacks pic.twitter.com/4kPzGcyHU7
If Wilson and Hendrickson can put up this kind of performance for the rest of the year, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Highest graded Bengals players vs the Rams:— PFF CIN Bengals (@PFF_Bengals) September 26, 2023
▫️ Trey Hendrickson - 92.1
▫️ Logan Wilson - 90.1
▫️ Ja'Marr Chase - 76.8
▫️ Sam Hubbard 76.0
▫️ B.J. Hill - 71.6
▫️ Joe Burrow - 71.0
(minimum 25 snaps played) pic.twitter.com/jIOZDg4CFU
Late in the second quarter, right before halftime, Dax Hill showed everyone his worth and came from the right side unblocked to take down Stafford. ESPN analyst Louis Riddick described him as getting “shot out of a cannon.”
After two very slow games for the Bengals star wideout, Ja’Marr Chase finally awoke, and he couldn’t be stopped. He set yet another Bengals record, with the new single-game receptions record with a dozen catches and 141 yards.
That record was previously held by Chad Ochocinco, who ironically got inducted into the Bengals Ring of Honor last night at halftime.
With a lot on the line and a lot of uncertainty, Burrow suited up and played the whole game. Some people may have thought it wasn’t the smartest idea, but people are praising Joe for such a gutsy and well-played game.
Luckily for him and the entire city, Burrow says there were no setbacks for his injury.
Jets quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, had nothing but praise for Burrow. Being in the league for over a decade, he knows exactly how it feels playing dinged up.
"I give Joe Burrow a lot of credit because not many people realize how much pain he was in..— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 26, 2023
I texted him that's what great competitors do..
They show up and play through the pain and don't make it a big deal" ~ @AaronRodgers12 #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/2B3InsD2kH
He didn’t rack up a ton of yards, but Mixon showed up when it counted, and he found the end zone for the first time this season. With Burrow’s injury, it probably won’t be the last time, either.
Still needs to be a little better at finding the gaps in the line and working north to south, but he proved to be worthwhile. There were plenty of plays, including clutch first downs where Mixon was stuffed at the line and shed tacklers to gain some yards.
After another 0-2 start, the Bengals showed a glimpse of their true selves in their first win of the season against the Rams. But there is still a lot of work to be done to patch up and tweak the mistakes. There were still way too many three-and-outs. They need to find a way to be a little more consistent.
It wasn’t the prettiest of wins in the world, but a win is a win. The Bengals had just enough to pull it out.
Let us know what you thought of the Bengals' first win.