1 of 5 | Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson on Monday at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Trey Hendrickson and the Cincinnati Bengals defense supplied relentless pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford, leading to a narrow 19-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Cincinnati.
Hendrickson logged two of the Bengals' six sacks in the victory Monday at Paycor Stadium. The Bengals defense limited the Rams to a 1 for 11 conversion rate on third downs and helped generate a 12-minute edge in time of possession.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who played through his nagging calf injury, completed 26 of 49 passes for 259 yards and an interception. Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase provided his best game so far this season, catching 12 passes for 141 yards.
Burrow, who was questionable to play because of the injury he sustained this off-season, worked out before the game to test the calf. He said he felt good and did not experience a setback.
"There is risk to go out there and potentially re-injure it," Burrow said. "But there's also risk to go out there and be 0-3. I wanted to be out there for my guys."
Kicker Evan McPherson made 4 of 5 field goal attempts, generating the majority of the Bengals' points in their first win of the 2023 campaign.
McPherson pushed a field goal wide left on the first drive of the game. The Rams responded with an 8-play, 43-yard drive. Kicker Brett Maher made a 30-yard attempt to end the possession.
The Rams and Bengals exchanged punts on the next two drives. McPherson then split the uprights about two minutes into the second quarter, tying the score.
Maher gave the lead back to the Rams with a 23-yard kick about three minutes later. Both offenses continued to struggle until the Bengals put together a 6-play, 26-yard drive to end the first half.
McPherson made a 53-yard kick just before the break to tie the score at 6-6.
The Rams opened the third quarter with a 7-play, 51-yard drive, ending with another Maher field goal.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon then scored the first touchdown of the night with about 5:30 remaining in the third. That 14-yard run ended a 10-play, 75-yard drive.
Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson intercepted Stafford two plays later. McPherson turned the turnover into points with a 48-yard kick with 3:09 remaining in the quarter, giving the Bengals a 16-9 edge.
The Bengals kicker made his final field goal midway through the fourth quarter for a 10-point advantage.
Stafford and the Rams finally reached the end zone with a 10-play, 61-yard drive. That possession ended with a 1-yard touchdown toss from Stafford to wide receiver Tutu Atwell.
The Bengals then recovered an onside kick and ran out the remaining 62 seconds on the clock to secure their first victory of the season.
Safety Dax Hill, defensive end Sam Hubbard and tackles D.J. Reader and B.J. Hill joined Hendrickson with one sack apiece in the win. Wilson, who totaled four combine tackles, intercepted Stafford twice.
Stafford completed 18 of 33 passes for 269 yards. Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua logged five catches for 72 yards.
The Bengals (1-2) will face the Tennessee Titans (1-2) at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday in Nashville. The Rams (1-2) will battle the Indianapolis Colts (2-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Indianapolis.