The Rams’ downward spiral continues.
Quarterback Nick Foles, back in the starting spot after Case Keenum suffered a concussion last week, threw three interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown by Cincinnati cornerback Leon Hall, as the Rams fell 31-7, with their losing streak increasing to four games.
Both the St. Louis Rams and Cincinnati Bengals entered Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium with losing streaks they were looking to end. The Rams, once 4-3 at the start of November, were losers of three straight prior to Sunday’s game. As for the Bengals, they started the year 8-0, but dropped two straight entering the match-up.
But unlike St. Louis, the quarterback situation in Cincinnati is well under control, as Andy Dalton is having his best season of his young career thus far. While not known for performing well in prime-time or playoff games, the young TCU product has been a major reason the now 9-2 Bengals are along with the likes of the Broncos and Patriots at the top of the AFC.
The Bengals took a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter with a seven-play drive capped off by a ten-yard touchdown from Dalton to All-Pro wide receiver A.J Green. After three straight drives cumulatively that ended in a punt, the Bengals took a 10-0 lead in the second quarter thanks to a Mike Nugent field goal.
Meanwhile, the Rams last-ranked offense continued it’s poor display, as neither the passing nor running game could get anything going. The sole exception came following the Bengals taking a 10-0 lead. The Rams engineered a four-play, 80-yard drive that consisted of a 60-yard run from Tavon Austin and capped off by a five-yard run by Austin.
However, Cincinnati responded right away with another drive ending in a touchdown, and from that point on, the momentum remained in the hands of the Bengals. With the Rams’ passing offense ranked dead last in the National Football League, the stout Cincinnati defense set their sights on another target… rookie running back Todd Gurley.
After posting four straight games with 120+ yards rushing, Gurley has struggled to find a groove as not only are the Rams one-dimensional on offense, but the offensive line has been ravaged by injuries and revamps. He only garnered 30 total yards on the day, 19 on the ground (on nine carries) and one catch for 11 yards.
Foles, meanwhile, went 30-46 for 228 yards and three interceptions, while Dalton went 20-27 for 233 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for the Bengals. Green caught eight passes for 61 yards, as well as two touchdowns.
With the loss, the Rams drop to 4-7 and further out of the NFC playoff picture. The Bengals, meanwhile, improve to 9-2 and are in full control of their own path to the playoffs, as well as an AFC North division title.
But for the Rams, with another tough game ahead, this time against the Arizona Cardinals, time is running out for them to fix the vast array of problems they face. Because one more loss could essentially seal their fate.
As well as head coach Jeff Fisher‘s.
(AP Photo/Gary Landers)