Kyle Boller filled in for an injured Mark Bulger, and the St. Louis Rams improved to 2-1 on the NFL preseason with a 24-21 victory over the host Cincinnati Bengals. The Rams led 24-14 heading into the fourth quarter, but a Bengals TD early in the frame made for some drama down the stretch. The Bengals couldn’t close the deal, however, and lost their second game in NFL preseason play.
Boller did withstand a hard hit from linebacker Keith Rivers that knocked his helmet off his head. Rather than leave the game, he calmly picked up his helmet and finished the drive. For the game, the Rams #2 QB was 14 of 20 for 96 yards. After the game, he talked about the play:
“I could have slid a little earlier. It is what it is. My chin strap hit just above my eyes. It was a good scramble, but maybe if I can get down a little sooner, the coaches would like that.”
Rivers also commented on the play, insisting that the hard hit wasnt intentional:
“I was just trying to get to the ball. It wasn’t anything intentional.”
Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo gave Boller some props in his postgame media comments:
“He moved the team. He drove us down there after the bad start. When you score on a drive, the quarterback deserves the credit.”
Bengals second string QB J.T. O’Sullivan didnt have it quite so easy”he was sacked three times, lost a fumble and had two passes deflected by linemen. The lost fumble added to the Bengals NFL preseason turnover woes”theyve lost five fumbles and thrown three interceptions for eight turnovers in three games. He spoke of his performance and the need to minimize turnovers afterwards:
“We’ve just got to find a way to eliminate it. It puts you in such a disadvantage any time you turn the ball over. That’s one of the things that has to change immediately.”
Head coach Marvin Lewis concurred:
“When you turn the football over, you have a difficult time winning, whether you’re playing in the regular season, the preseason, junior high, sixth grade, whatever it is.
The Bengals conclude their NFL preseason slate next Thursday as they host the Indianapolis Colts. The Rams play at home on the same night, welcoming the Kansas City Chiefs to the Edward Jones Dome.
Ross Everett is a widely published freelance sports writer and respected authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.