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The Bengals Host The St. Louis Rams Today At Paul Brown Stadium

Cincinnati seeks a path back to a winning track with a win over the banged-up and bedeviled Rams.

WHAT: St. Louis Rams (4-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-2)

WHEN: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati

TV: FOX. Announcers: Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Tony Siragusa

BENGALS GAME KEYS: The Bengals are ranked 13th in defending the run but do give up 4.5 yards per carry, so they can't rely on their front seven containing Todd Gurley without help. A safety will factor into the mix regularly, and tackling will be paramount in shutting down the Rams' playmakers near the line of scrimmage.

Minus a strong running attack, QB Andy Dalton has proven he will make shaky decisions when pressured. He would be well served to have RBs Gio Bernard or Jeremy Hill provide balance at home and help thwart the Rams' pass rush that is the biggest threat to the Bengals on Sunday.

RAMS GAME KEYS: It doesn't matter who the Rams have behind center, they lack a quarterback who can legitimately stretch the field – or the weapons such a quarterback could rely on. The offense is heavily reliant on Gurley and inventing ways to get the ball into the hands of WR Tavon Austin close to the line of scrimmage.

The Rams can't count on moving the ball with much consistency, so they will have to come up with a few turnovers to flip the field. Cincinnati is fifth in the league in averaging 26.6 points per game on offense, but the ground game has been extremely sporadic the past several weeks. In order to threaten the upset on the road, the Rams need to not just gain field position on special teams but produce a big play or two. Austin and Wes Welker were in the punt return mix last week, and Rams coach Jeff Fisher is well-known to turn to creative special teams plays to give his team a spark.

MATCHUP: Rams RT Rob Havenstein vs. Bengals LDE Carlos Dunlap: Havenstein, a second-round pick out of Wisconsin, is expected to return from a calf injury to reclaim his job from fellow rookie Aaron Donnel, who went down to a sprained MCL last week. Dunlap leads the Bengals with 8.5 sacks and is difficult to double-team with the other pass rushers Cincinnati can bring.

BENGALS FAST FACT: Dalton needs 262 passing yards to join Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history with 3,000-plus yards in each of their first five NFL seasons.

RAMS FAST FACT: Gurley has started the past seven games. During that time, he leads the NFL with 766 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns and four carries of 45-plus yards.


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