How the Rams and Bengals match up
Rams (4-3) vs. Cincinnati (0-7)
When Rams have the ball
A stagnant Rams offense appeared to get back on track in last week’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons, but with the winless Bengals and their porous defense up next, the true state of the unit might not be known for a while. The Bengals rank last in the NFL in total defense and rushing defense. That should bode well for Rams running backs Todd Gurley and Darrell Henderson. Gurley has not rushed for 100 yards in a game since last season’s NFC divisional-round playoff victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Henderson bounced back from a costly fumble against the San Francisco 49ers and played without major errors against the Falcons. After struggling to do so in the previous two games, quarterback Jared Goff found a sense of a rhythm against the Falcons. He passed for two touchdowns — including a perfectly placed ball to Gurley — and also made a great move on a touchdown run. Goff has passed for nine touchdowns, with seven interceptions. Tight end Gerald Everett was targeted 10 times against the Falcons and had four receptions, including one for a touchdown. Rookie David Edwards will start again at left guard after performing well against the Falcons. The Bengals are giving up 26.6 points a game, which ranks 24th. End Sam Hubbard and tackle Geno Atkins both have three sacks for a defense that has intercepted only two passes and forced four fumbles.
In 13 NFL seasons, Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth has played in 206 games and lined up against every team in the league. Except one. And that changes Sunday.
When Bengals have the ball
The Bengals hired Zac Taylor because he was a Sean McVay disciple, a young coach coming from a team that went to the Super Bowl with an offense that mostly dominated during the 2018 season. Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton leads a unit that ranks 27th in total offense, 28th in scoring and last in rushing. Dalton has passed for six touchdowns, with six interceptions, and scored all three of the Bengals’ rushing touchdowns. He has been sacked 24 times. Receiver John Ross, the former Long Beach Jordan High and Washington star, was placed on injured reserve a few weeks ago because of a shoulder injury. Ross had three touchdown receptions before he suffered the injury. Their top receiver, A.J. Green, will not play Sunday because of a lingering ankle injury. Tyler Boyd has a team-best 45 receptions, one for a touchdown. Running back Joe Mixon has rushed for 254 yards and has two touchdown receptions. Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey did not start in his Rams debut against the Falcons but will be in the lineup against the Bengals. Cornerback Troy Hill was limited Friday because of a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice early in the week. He is listed as questionable. If Hill does not play, Darious Williams will start in his place. Edge rusher Dante Fowler looks to continue the momentum he started last week by recording three sacks.
When they kick
International Series crowds love when the ball is kicked in any form or fashion, so Greg Zuerlein and Johnny Hekker could receive the loudest cheers Sunday. Hekker showed his versatility again last week when he completed a pass to rookie Nick Scott. The play kept alive a drive that ended with one of Zuerlein’s three field goals. Bengals kicker Randy Bullock has made 10 of 12 field-goal attempts.
Gary Klein’s prediction
The last time the Rams played in London, they routed the Arizona Cardinals 33-0. They are a near two-touchdown favorite against the Bengals. They will leave London with a 5-3 record at the midpoint of the season.
RAMS 38, BENGALS 10
Go beyond the scoreboard
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