Rookie George Rogers rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown and New Orleans shut out Cincinnati until the final moments as the Saints ended a five-game losing streak with a 17-7 upset of the Bengals today.
After a scoreless first half, Rogers and quarterback Archie Manning took over in the last two periods for the Saints (2-6), who won only one game last year. Rogers scored on a 19-yard run, Manning threw a 19-yard scoring pass to Wayne Wilson and Benny Ricardo kicked a 38-yard field goal.
Manning completed 15 of 24 passes for 170 yards. Rogers (31 carries, 113 yards) gained 100 or more yards for the third straight time and fifth game this season.
Cincinnati (5-3) got its touchdown when reserve quarterback Jack Thompson threw a six-yard pass to Don Ross with 2:36 left. Ken Anderson, Cincinnati's starting quarterback, was taken out in the second half after a hard tackle by Elois Grooms.
"They (the Saints' defense) played like wild men out there," said Bum Phillips, the New Orleans coach. "It was by far the best game we've played defensively. Every one of our defensive linemen did an outstanding job as did our linebackers and secondary. I thought they played an exceptional game."