The Los Angeles Rams (4-3) are coming off a much needed 37-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons (1-6) last Sunday. After a previous three-game losing skid, the Rams hope to keep the winning momentum going against the winless Cincinnati Bengals (0-7). The game will take place across the pond in London, England at Wembley Stadium.
The Rams have not faced the Bengals since 2015. That year, they lost 31-7 in Cincinnati. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was also at the helm then and quarterback Nick Foles was marshalling the Rams offense. This year’s meeting should be a much different game.
This is the Rams’ second London game under head coach Sean McVay. The Rams’ last appearance was a 33-0 shutout over the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. McVay and the Rams look to continue their overseas winning record and avenge their last meeting. That just may happen as the Rams are a heavy favorite to win by double digits.
Cincinnati’s record does not reflect some tight games throughout the season. They lost by one point to the Seattle Seahawks and stayed competitive with the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens. They also have another young head coach protégé in Zac Taylor. Taylor worked last season as the Rams quarterbacks coach under McVay. This may provide the Bengals some insight on how the Rams operate, but the Bengals recent struggles show they are still outmatched at the line and have fewer weapons.
Comparing quarterbacks, Jared Goff and Dalton look similar in stats for the season. Goff has 175 passes on 283 attempts for 1,995 yards, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. Dalton has 172 passes on 286 attempts for 1,923 yard, eight touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Goff has been sacked 12 times and hit 23 times, while Dalton has been sacked 24 times. Both teams have had offensive line struggles this season, which explains the amount of QB hits.
Dalton led the Bengals in rushing against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday with 33 yards. He also scored one rushing touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter. Running back Joe Mixon scored on a 2-yard pass reception, but only had 10 carries for 2 yards. Wide receivers Alex Erickson, Auden Tate and Tyler Boyd led the way in catches.
Newly acquired Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey may line up with Boyd on Sunday. Boyd is Dalton’s favorite target this season with 45 catches for 471 yards and one touchdown. Ramsey has infused the Rams defense after a stellar performance last week covering Atlanta Falcons star receiver Julio Jones. He should be able to contain him since Boyd is strong outside.
The Rams defense should also dominate the Bengals weaker offensive line. Rams linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. will continue provide strong pressure to the line. Fowler had three sacks, four tackles for loss, one pass deflection and four quarterback hits against the Falcons. Dalton should expect similar pressure. The Rams man-to-man coverage upgrade will also keep him scrambling.
The Bengals defense is one of the worst in the league. They will have several Rams offensive weapons to deal with including tight end Gerald Everett, wide receivers Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, as well as, running back Todd Gurley. Last week, all players had a strong showing with big scores and yardage. Woods displayed great run blocking and Everett proved hard to take down after making his receptions. Gurley is still waiting for a huge run, but his first half touchdown reception in Atlanta was superb. Look for the Rams to mount the same type of attack in London.
Kickoff begins at 10 a.m. PT on CBS.