ATLANTA — Larry Kinnebrew didn't want to wake up a loser again today.
Kinnebrew's two-yard touchdown run with 23 seconds left Sunday gave the Cincinnati Bengals a 16-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, breaking a four-game losing streak.
The victory also ended a trend of narrow defeats in the final minutes that have apparently put Coach Sam Wyche's job in jeopardy.
"I was tired of those Monday blues," Kinnebrew said. "We came in here knowing we needed a win."
The Bengals (3-6) feared the trend would continue when they had a touchdown wiped out by a penalty and had to settle a 30-yard field goal by Jim Breech, which cut Atlanta's lead to 10-9 with 3:42 left in the game.
Cincinnati's defense then gave the Bengals another chance.
Eddie Edwards and Reggie Williams sacked Atlanta's Scott Campbell on consecutive plays, forcing the Falcons (2-7) back to their eight-yard line and eventually giving the Bengals the ball at the Atlanta 40 with 2:14 left after a punt.
Kinnebrew, a 258-yard fullback, carried 5 time for 22 yards on the game-winning drive and Stanford Jennings carried once for 18 yards, taking the ball to the 12. Kinnebrew took it over in four carries from there.
"The best thing about the game is we finally found a way to win," Cincinnati quarterback Boomer Esiason said. "We've suffered some heartbreaks, but this win could be the start of something. I hope it's a long winning streak."
The Bengals hammered out 270 yards, third best total in club history on the ground, including 100 in 27 carries by Kinnebrew.
The Bengals drove 40 yards in 7 running plays for what appeared to be a go-ahead touchdown with 3:55 left. But Esiason's two-yard scoring pass to Rodney Holman was nullified when tackle Anthony Munoz was charged with offensive interference.
Two plays later, Breech kicked his third field goal.
The Falcons built their lead to 10-6 with 8:56 to play on a 44-yard field goal by Mick Luckhurst.
Breech also kicked field goals of 31 yards in the first quarter and 22 yards three seconds into the final period.