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8:15PM Est: Rams/Bengals Under 45 (3 Units)
The Bengals defense hasn't performed up to last year's standards but they're going to put it together eventually. They ranked 5th in points allowed per game last season and they have the same defensive coordinator. Their back end went through a bit of an overhaul during the off-season but they ranked 26th in passing yards allowed per game last season. Not exactly a bad thing.
They went heavy defense in the draft taking an edge and 2 defensive backs in the first 3 rounds on top of signing a pair of DBs in Free Agency. They've only allowed 190.5 passing yards per game so far, 9th best in the NFL. It's been their run defense that's an issue. They rank dead last allowing 192 rushing yards per game after ranking 5th at 103.5 a season ago.
Part of that's scheduling and also game script. The Browns and Ravens are two of the best rushing teams in the NFL. The Bengals offense was also putrid against Cleveland and played right into their hand as they scored just 3 points. Personnel wise this is largely the same front 7 as last year.
This is a much friendlier matchup for the CIN defense. The Rams rank 24th averaging 90.5 rushing yards per game and 30th at 2.9 rushing yards per attempt. They still have 62 attempts on the season. McVay isn't going to abandon the run and that should help shorten this game.
On the opposite side of things the Bengals offense has struggled through the first two weeks. The Health of Joe Burrow is a large reason for that. He had a calf issue that caused him to miss the majority of training camp and pre-season and it's flared up again. He's listed as questionable but likely to play in this game barring a setback.
The Bengals offensive line is once again not very good and that's trouble tonight. The Rams have a 25.5% pressure rate and Burrow isn't mobile right now. They're not going to be able to push the ball down field as much as they would normally like. The game plan has to change. They're going to attempt to run the football but the ball has to get out quick in the passing game. Or they run the risk of Joe Burrow taking hits that could jeopardize their season.