Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald pressured Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow into an incompletion on fourth down late in the fourth quarter to seal a Super Bowl win for his team, but the Bengals would have had more chances to extend the game had things gone differently on third down.
A Burrow completion to Tyler Boyd on first down left the Bengals a yard short of a first down and an incompletion set up a third down that saw head coach Zac Taylor call a run for Samaje Perine. Perine was stuffed for no gain by Aaron Donald and Greg Gaines, which forced the Bengals to call a timeout ahead of the fateful fourth down.
After the game, Taylor explained the team’s thinking in that spot.
“Yeah, they were getting a little softer and we thought we could steal a first down there and come back and take some shots at the end zone,” Taylor said. “Just didn’t work out.”
Perine typically plays on passing downs and had only run the ball one other time during the game. Joe Mixon had run the ball 15 times for 72 yards, but Taylor was not asked why he didn’t turn to the team’s lead back for one of the most consequential snaps of the year.