1 of 5 | Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 348 yards and two scores in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday in Cincinnati. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Bengals trailed by two scores early, but used a goal-line stand and a second half rally to improve to 3-1 and increase the Jacksonville Jaguars' losing streak to 20 consecutive games.
Bengals kicker Evan McPherson made a 35-yard field goal as time expired for the 24-21 victory Thursday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow completed 25 of 32 passes for 348 yards and two scores. He threw both of his touchdown tosses to tight end C.J. Uzomah.
"That's football," Burrow told reporters. "You are going to have to find ways to win when everything is against you, when your back is against the wall.
"That's what we did I'm proud of the way we fought."
The matchup featured the last two No. 1 overall draft picks in Burrow (2020) and Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (2021).
Lawrence completed 17 of 24 passes for 204 yards and ran for a score in the loss.
D.J. Chark Jr., the Jaguars' No. 1 wide receiver, injured his ankle in the first quarter and did not return to the Thursday Night Football matchup.
"When we can control the game like we did in the first half, that's really the key," Lawrence told reporters. "We controlled the game going into halftime.
"In the second half, we didn't do a great job on offense of holding onto the ball and just moving it."
The Bengals and Jaguars picked up 21 first downs apiece. They each called 55 plays, but the Bengals earned one more possession.
The Jaguars punted on the game's opening drive. McPherson then missed a 43-yard attempt wide left on the Bengals' first drive.
Jaguars running back James Robinson answered with a six-yard touchdown run with 1:28 remaining in the first quarter.
The Jaguars put together another scoring drive in the second quarter. Lawrence ended that 12-play, 80-yard possession with a seven-yard touchdown run to give the Jaguars a 14-0 edge.
The Jaguars defense forced a three-and-out from the Bengals on the next drive. Lawrence started the next possession with a 52-yard toss to Laviska Shenault.
The Jaguars drove the ball down to the one-yard line, but the Bengals defense stuffed his fourth-down run attempt at the goal line to prevent a three-score deficit.
"The message [at halftime] was that they beat us in all three phases and we did not play good football," Bengals coach Zac Taylor told reporters. "It felt like we took their best shot. ... There was no reason to panic."
Burrow and the Bengals came out hot in the second half. The second-year quarterback threw a 44-yard toss to rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase on the second play of the third quarter. He threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Uzomah to end the drive.
The Bengals defense forced a Jaguars three-and-out on the next drive. Burrow then orchestrated a 12-play, 86-yard touchdown drive. Bengals running back Joe Mixon ended the possession with a one-yard score.
The Jaguars snatched the lead back with a Robinson four-yard run at the start of the fourth quarter. Burrow connected with Uzomah for a 31-yard score about five minutes later to tie the score at 21-21.
Lawrence and the Jaguars offense stalled on the next drive. The Bengals used nine plays on the final possession to put McPherson in position for his game-winner from the Jaguars' 17-yard line.
Mixon carried 16 times for 67 yards in the victory. Uzomah recorded five catches for 95 yards. Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd logged nine catches for a game-high 118 yards.
Robinson gained 78 rushing yards on 18 carries. The Jaguars outgained the Bengals 139 to 78 on the ground.
The Bengals (3-1) host the Green Bay Packers at 1 p.m. EDT Oct. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium. The Jaguars (0-4) host the Tennessee Titans at 1 p.m. EDT Oct. 10 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.
"We did a great job," Lawrence said. "We are getting better every week. Obviously that loss is heartbreaking, but we are getting better."
The Jaguars' last win was a 27-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 13, 2020 in Jacksonville.