Bengals win final preseason game over Rams


CINCINNATI — Bengals quarterback Jake Browning threw for 173 yards and a touchdown on 19-for-24 passing to lead Cincinnati to a 16-7 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night in a rematch of Super Bowl LVI at Paycor Stadium.

Browning found tight end Justin Rigg for a three-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to extend a Bengals lead that had been established by Evan McPherson’s three field goals in the first half.

Rigg, a 6-6 undrafted free agent from the University of Kentucky and a Springboro High School graduate, was happy after the game.

“Right when I heard the play call, I knew that I had a chance to get the ball and I saw that I had the leverage and when I broke out, I saw the ball,” Rigg said. “It was just a shocking feeling at first and you know, I got to work on the celebration a little bit, but I’m excited that I got to have that, especially with so much family here, close, and just pretty exciting feeling.”

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was pleased with Browning’s performance.

“I thought he did a nice job,” he said after the game. “He did a great job moving us down the field, especially there at the end of the game when it got tight. They scored to pull within three and we threw the ball every play, and he made plenty of plays. He scrambled around and made some plays with his feet, made some plays on the move, threw on time, so I thought it was well done by Jake.”

Los Angeles scored its only TD in the fourth quarter when quarterback Bryce Perkins scrambled into the end zone from three yards out.

He finished the game with 143 yards passing and completed 14-of-19 attempts and added 33 yards on the ground.

After the score, that’s when Browning led the Bengals on a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a touchdown.

On defense, the Bengals had some positive moments.

Trayvon Henderson forced Rams running back Jake Funk to fumble on the five-yard line in the second quarter to stop a potential touchdown.

That play made up for his dropped interception attempt earlier in the game.

Overall, the defense held the Rams to 237 yards of offense.

“We got really good work in and a great chance to evaluate these guys that are fighting for every spot,” Taylor added. “I thought some guys showed real well tonight so it will be fun to evaluate that and make some tough decisions and then get ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Final cuts were to be made on Tuesday, and the home opener is set for Sept. 11 at home against the Steelers.

Taylor said this week will be difficult.

“You hand personnel stuff early in the week and then you get a chance to spend a couple of days, not just focusing on the next opponent, but focusing on some things to get our guys not in shape, but more playing situations,” Taylor said. “Let’s have some longer drives now and get these guys ready to go for a game in a week and a half. Them you start to turn your attention to the opponent. You can spend too much time on a team – you can overdo it. It’s a team that we’re familiar with, they are familiar with us. There’s always tweaks and changes on both sides, but we’ll get a chance to stat that process this week.”

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