Monday Night Football: Rams Bengals halftime score tied at 6-6
Monday Night Football turns into a soccer game as Bengals and Rams struggle to score, tied 6-6. Burrow plays through calf injury.
Monday Night Football began with a bang, but unexpectedly transformed into a thrilling soccer match. The game featured impressive performances from both kickers, with Rams' Brett Maher successfully converting field goals from 30 and 23 yards, while Bengals' Evan McPherson initially missed a 56-yard attempt before redeeming himself with kicks of 49 and 53 yards. As the first half came to a close, the game stood at a tense 6-6 tie.
Offensively, the Bengals have managed to gain 150 yards, slightly surpassing the Rams' 141 yards. However, both teams have faced challenges in finding the end zone. The Rams, despite coming within striking distance at the Cincinnati 2 and 5-yard lines, were forced to settle for field goals within the red zone.
The Bengals can attribute their struggles partly to the persistent presence of quarterback Joe Burrow, who has been valiantly playing through a calf injury. Although Burrow was initially listed as questionable to start, he decided to take the field. In an effort to alleviate discomfort and prevent lymphatic fluid build-up, he has been utilizing a heat and massage wrap on the sideline.
Burrow's injury has visibly affected his ability to make deep throws. Throughout the season, he has struggled to connect on passes of 15 yards or more, going 0-for-14 in such attempts. Tonight, he faced similar challenges until he finally found success with a 26-yard completion to tight end Tanner Hudson in the dying moments of the game. It is worth noting that Hudson was called up from the practice squad earlier in the day.
So far, Burrow has completed 17 of his 31 pass attempts for a total of 144 yards. Unfortunately, the Bengals have not provided him with much support through their play calling. They have opted for a pass-heavy approach, calling only seven running plays, resulting in a mere 23 yards gained by Joe Mixon. Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase has been the primary target for Burrow, securing six catches for a modest 56 yards.
On the Rams' side, quarterback Matthew Stafford has completed 8 of his 15 pass attempts, accumulating 106 yards. However, he did throw an interception to Logan Wilson, adding a moment of excitement to the game. Puka Nacua has been a reliable target for Stafford, making four receptions for 35 yards. Additionally, Tutu Atwell showcased his skills, although his touchdown was overturned when replay footage revealed that he had stepped out of bounds at the Los Angeles 2-yard line. Nevertheless, Atwell has contributed with two receptions for an impressive 59 yards.
Defensively, the Rams' Aaron Donald has been a force to be reckoned with, securing a sack and three tackles. On the Bengals' side, safety Dax Hill has been a standout performer, recording five tackles, a sack, and two tackles for loss.
Unfortunately, the Rams experienced a setback when Alaric Jackson suffered a thigh injury and had to leave the game. His return to the field remains uncertain, and Zach Thomas has stepped in as his replacement.
As the game continues, both teams will undoubtedly face further challenges and opportunities to showcase their skills. The outcome remains uncertain, but the determination and resilience displayed by the players promise an exhilarating conclusion to Monday Night Football.