When and where: October 27, 2019, Wembley Stadium, London, England, 1:00 PM ET
The winless Cincinnati Bengals face a gargantuan task in a plane trip overseas for a neutral site meeting in London against the revitalized Los Angeles Rams. Trading for All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey has given the Rams defense an extra boost, and it showed in their blowout road win over the Atlanta Falcons last week. The Bengals, on the other hand, are coming off their seventh consecutive loss of the season to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s a dumpster fire season that could end with a considerable roster shake-up before the trade deadline.
Will A.J. Green get traded?I swear the official theme song for the Bengals should be “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips, considering the team’s tendency to hold onto players and coaches past the expiration point. Former All-Pro wideout A.J. Green is the next name on that list. Make no mistake, this is in no way an attempt to dress down Green’s talent and abilities. He can still be a No. 1 receiver for the right team.
But the Bengals aren’t the right team.
They’re a rebuilding franchise hanging onto a previously injured 31-year-old receiver playing on an expiring contract. Green should have been traded weeks ago. He is officially listed as doubtful to play in Sunday’s game against the Rams, which would have meant an up, close and personal with his old pal Jalen Ramsey.
Everything will fall on the arm of Dalton again with the Bengals facing a Rams rushing defense allowing an average of 95.9 rushing yards per game. However, the Bengals couldn’t run the football even if they wanted to behind a porous offensive front and running back Joe Mixon failing to catch on in the offense.
Things are even worse on the defensive side of the ball with the Bengals ranking dead last in average yards allowed (430.9). Any fantasy football owners of Rams quarterback Jared Goff must be doing backflips thinking about him throwing against the Bengals’ secondary. Hold the Halloween movies this weekend. Michael Myers has nothing on the Rams offense facing the Bengals defense.
It doesn’t help matters that Carl Lawson and Carlos Dunlap could still be out, along with cornerback Darqueze Dennard rejoining the injury report.
Cupcake portion of the Rams' schedule continuesThe trade acquisition of Ramsey instantly makes the Rams’ defensive secondary better, but it doesn’t fix some of the issues that have continued to come up on the offensive side of the ball. No, you shouldn’t be impressed with them beating up on a broken down Atlanta Falcons team on the road.
But it was a good game that allowed Rams coach Sean McVay to tinker with some things and build on the team’s confidence.
They’ll have an opportunity to do more of the same against the winless Bengals on Sunday. The inconsistency at running back with All-Pro rusher Todd Gurley has been the greatest concern for the Rams. His health issues have hurt the team’s rushing attack, which has also impacted the effectiveness of Goff’s play-action passing. However, he should chew up plenty of grass against a Bengals defense allowing 189.0 rushing yards per game.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and company will be facing a demoralized Bengals offense. Dalton has hit the dirt more often than most quarterbacks behind a shoddy line and a one-dimensional offense. Things are bound to get ugly fast and in a hurry.
Starting linebacker Clay Matthews is still out with a jaw injury, and cornerback Troy Hill, along with running back Malcolm Brown, are both listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
- Bengals are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games in Week 8.
- Bengals are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in October.
- Bengals are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Rams are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win of more than 14 points.
- Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Rams are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Rams are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall.