The Rams defense kept them in the game for most of the contest, but the offense couldn’t find a way to score. The final score was 20-13, but at times St. Louis looked like the better team on the field. They led 6-3 at halftime and actually had more total yards and no turnovers. Cincy is a good team, just outside of the playoffs as it stands now, so this was a well played game. Sam Bradford wasn’t in and isn’t expected to play again this season. Certainly not the sophomore season last years Offensive Rookie of the Year had hoped for. He dealt with a series of injuries to himself and his top targets. He will look to return next year healthy and hopefully some more weapons to work with.
Well for this game, Kellen Clemons actually looked pretty solid. In his first game as a Ram with very little time to learn the playbook, he actually performed quite well. He completed 25 of 36 for 229 and a touchdown. The TD came very late in the game with it mostly out of hand, but he didn’t turn the ball over and did more than you would have expected against a solid defensive unit. The offense was completely centered around Steven Jackson though, rushing for 71 yards and added 72 in the air. Clemens obviously felt most comfortable to shorter safe throws to Jackson, but it was effective moving the ball. Brandon Lloyd probably missed Bradford more than anyone though. He did get 9 targets, but brought in only 5 for 42 yards.
The defensive unit was rock solid in the first half. The second half they started to give, mostly from an outstanding game from rookie AJ Green. Green hurt his shoulder, but continued to play for the most part. He still managed 6 catches for 115 yards. The next highest receiving yard total for Cincy was 16 yards. Overall, Dalton did not have a very good game. When not throwing to Green, he really had nothing. He had just 179 yards, no scores and an INT. The running game wasn’t great either, but they were able to cap off a couple drives with short scores, and that was enough. But hey, Chris Long got his 13th sack of the season, and looks to be probably the lone probowler for the Rams.
Well this is the 5th straight loss for the Rams, and Pittsburgh is next. Big Ben is hurt with a high ankle sprain but he gutted it out to play on Monday Night. This is a short week, so who knows how he will heal from now to then, but expect him to play. Anyone who saw him play though have to see an opportunity to take advantage of his injury. He struggled mightily and was clearly in a ton of pain. Aldon Smith dominated the Steelers line to terrorize Roethlisberger, and this looks like a great change for Chris Long to do the same. Obviously San Francisco has one of the better defenses in the league, but Pittsburgh’s line is not very intimidating, especially if Pouncey is out again. If Roethlisberger doesn’t heal up very much, this will likely be a low scoring affair. The defense will need to take advantages of mistakes, but I wouldn’t complete write out the Rams in this one.