Joe Burrow leads Bengals to first win of the season despite calf injury

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Bengals QB active for ‘MNF’ vs. Rams

Joe Burrow, the star quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, was active for the ‘Monday Night Football’ game against the Los Angeles Rams despite being questionable with a calf injury. Burrow had re-aggravated his calf injury in the Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and was limited in practice throughout the week. However, he was able to take the first-team reps on Sunday and was cleared to play on Monday.

Burrow completed 26 of his 49 passes for 259 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in the Bengals’ 27-17 win over the Rams, their first victory of the season. He also rushed for 14 yards on three carries and was sacked twice. Burrow showed his toughness and leadership as he led the Bengals to a crucial win in front of the home crowd.

Burrow re-establishes connection with Ja’Marr Chase

One of the highlights of Burrow’s performance was his chemistry with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, his former teammate at LSU. Chase had a career-high 12 receptions for 141 yards, averaging 11.8 yards per catch. He also had a 40-yard catch-and-run that set up a field goal in the fourth quarter.

Joe Burrow leads Bengals to first win

Chase and Burrow were a dynamic duo at LSU, where they won the national championship in 2019. Chase opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Burrow was drafted first overall by the Bengals. The Bengals reunited them by selecting Chase with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft, passing on offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who was taken by the Detroit Lions.

Chase had a shaky preseason, dropping several passes and admitting that he had trouble adjusting to the NFL ball. However, he has silenced his critics with his impressive start to the regular season, recording 17 catches for 297 yards and four touchdowns in three games. He is the first player in NFL history to have four touchdown receptions of 30 yards or more in his first three games.

Bengals’ defense dominates Rams’ offense

Another key factor in the Bengals’ win was their stellar defensive performance against the Rams’ high-powered offense. The Bengals held the Rams to 17 points, well below their season average of 31.5 points per game. They also limited the Rams to 304 total yards, 177 passing yards and 127 rushing yards, all season lows for the Rams.

The Bengals’ defense was led by defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who had two sacks and four quarterback hits on Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. Hendrickson, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract with the Bengals in the offseason, has three sacks in three games. He also forced a fumble by Stafford in the fourth quarter, which was recovered by linebacker Logan Wilson and led to a touchdown by running back Joe Mixon.

The Bengals’ secondary also played well, holding the Rams’ star receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods to a combined seven catches for 68 yards. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie had an interception and two pass breakups, while safety Jessie Bates III had a team-high 10 tackles and a pass breakup. The Bengals’ defense also stopped the Rams on a fourth-and-one attempt in the third quarter, which gave the Bengals the momentum to take the lead.

Burrow says his calf is ‘getting there’

After the game, Burrow gave an update on his calf injury, saying that he is ‘getting there’ and that he did not suffer any setbacks during the game. He also praised his teammates for their efforts and said that he was proud of the win.

“We’re getting there,” Burrow said in his walk-off interview with ESPN’s Laura Rutledge. “Every week will be better as long as there’s no more setbacks. So we’re going to keep working hard to get healthy and move on to next week.”

“He was great tonight,” Burrow said of Chase. “I came into this game thinking I was just going to feed my guy and he came up big for us.”

“I’m really proud of our guys,” Burrow said. “We fought hard. We knew this was a big game for us. We didn’t want to start 0-3. We came out and played with a lot of energy and a lot of passion and got the win.”

The Bengals improved to 1-2 with the win, while the Rams fell to 2-1. The Bengals will face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4, while the Rams will take on the Arizona Cardinals.

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