Rams Comeback Falls Short in Cincy: Week 3 Recap

By Ron Johnson

Rams Week 3 Recap

I ran out of fingers last night for the number of times that the Los Angeles Rams were in the red zone. I almost lost count of the number of times Matthew Stafford was grounded by a sea of white stripes. But what I didn’t lose last night was the ability to know how to count. 

The Rams are either STILL in rebuilding mode or just not hungry enough for the season.

On a Monday night, and in their first matchup since the Super Bowl two years ago, the Cincinnati Bengals overcame a lackluster performance by Joe Burrow among other inconsistencies to get a measure of revenge on the Rams. Granted, this didn’t win them the Super Bowl, but they should be taking Evan McPherson out to dinner every single night for the remainder of the season after his performance last night. McPherson’s legs became the equalizer for a game that was more defensive minded than a shootout showcase between Burrow and Stafford.

When the smoke cleared in Cincy, the Bengals Defense proved to be the catalyst for their first win of the season, a sub-par 19-16 win. But it was more about the lack of performance from an underachieving offensive line of the Rams than it was about just how bad Joe Burrow’s leg really was.

The Rams started the season with such promise as they defeated the Seahawks to start the year. Then they lost a close one to the Niners due to Stafford’s two picks in the second half. That still was not enough to get people to be concerned about the Rams. But after last night’s collapse…

…every true Rams fan should be terrified about them this season.

Stafford kissed the ground he and others walked on six times, while the Rams were beyond mediocre in every fashion as they went 1-11 on third down and 1-4 in the red zone. While the Bengals were practically gifting the game to LA, they failed to capitalize on defensive stops and decent field positions. To put it nicely, the only high points of this game for the Rams were Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell trying to light a fire for the team. 

But even they could not help Stafford be more efficient. 

The Rams lost Alaric Jackson and Joe Notebloom (like usual), and the offensive line was even more abysmal than usual with their departures. Stafford finished the night 18-33 with 269 yards and a touchdown but once again gave out donations to the defense of the Bengals who already felt good after getting six sacks on the QB.

When I say the Bengals practically gifted the Rams the game, this is accurate. Joe Burrow was virtually non-existent as he finished 26-49 for 256 yards and zero touchdowns. 

Rams

This has been the equivalent of a depressive week for the Rams. Earlier in the week, after a tense situation that is, Cam Akers was officially traded to the Vikings for a couple of draft picks. On the surface, the Rams have the offensive talent to compete with anyone. However, the team itself has had its weaknesses exposed due in large part to injuries along the offensive line.

So even with Cooper Kupp making a return in mid-October, there is no telling where the team will be at standings wise by that point. The reality is this: The Rams should be at least a little concerned about the amount of sacks the o-line gave up on Monday night, but they better figure out a gameplan between now and Sunday.

Considering how they played on Monday night, a true Rams fan would be up in arms about the way the team looks. I get that it is only about to be week four, but if you take a good look around the league, you can see the teams that have stepped up (Dolphins, Lions, Falcons) and the teams that have started to disappoint (Jets, Broncos, Vikings). 

If the Rams want to be in the conversation for one of those 14 spots in the NFL playoffs come December, they really need to start beefing up that line, keeping Stafford upright and above all else, stop letting the gunslinger shoot blanks when it is not even necessary.

Maybe this Sunday will be the opportunity to do that as they head to Indy to face the Colts. On the defensive side, they look ready (I mean compared to Denver, everyone is ready, right?) But the bottom line for the Rams is that they have all this deep talent, but the question is where is this talent at??

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