On a rather nasty day weather wise at Paul Brown Stadium, it was all home sweet home for the Cincinnati Bengals, as they won their 5th game of what has been a tough season, topping the St.Louis Rams 19-10. The day was ugly, with cold rain falling for much of the day, but it didn’t seem to hurt Bengals kicker Shayne Graham, who kicked four goals. The only Bengals touchdown of the day came from running back Rudi Johnson, who went in from a yard out with 5:22 left in the first quarter to make it 7-0.
The Bengals defense hounded Rams first-time starter Brock Berlin all day. He was held without getting his team in position to score in the first half, and the only Rams touchdown of the day came after Fakhir Brown took back a Carson Palmer INT for a score from 36 yards just :54 seconds into the third quarter. Berlin ended the long day 17-for-28 for 153 yards with an interception. “It was fast, it was really exciting,” said Berlin. “It was (like) big-time college football, except you’ve got all guys who are all-Americans on the other side of the ball. I felt really comfortable.”
He didn’t look all that good, but then again, it’s been a bad year for the Rams, who with the loss now sit at 3-10. Steven Jackson was one bright spot, rushing for 91 yards on 18 carries. The Rams as a whole were held to 241 yards of offense, while the Bengals were able to get through the rain for 370 yards and 17 first downs to the Rams 10. The Bengals also held the ball for 33:25 to the Rams 26:35.
The rushing game was the key for Cincy, as they put up 192 yards on the ground, averaging 5.3 yards per carry on 36 carries. Johnson went for 92 yards on 23 carries, while De De Dorsey went for 81 yards on four carries, getting a good chunk on a 45-yard run. Carson Palmer was 21-for-29 for 189 yards with two interceptions. “It was tough,” said Palmer. “We were expecting a light drizzle, but it was pouring. I’m just thankful it let up at the end and gave both teams a chance to throw the ball.”
Graham overall was the hero, kicking field goals of 27, 38, 32 and 46 yards to help the Bengals complete drives after they were unable to get into the end zone. In a year in which there has not been all that to cheer about in the Queen city, the Bengals and their fans will take it.
Next week the Rams play host to Brett Favre and the Packers. The Bengals will play on Saturday night at San Francisco vs the 49’ers.