RandSince the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals faced off in Super Bowl LVI, their path’s couldn't be different. L.A. followed up the Lombardi Trophy winning by falling to 5-12 in 2022, while the Stripes won their division and lost a heartbreaker to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
This year, the Rams were expected to tumble even further, but have played above expectations on the way to slitting their first two games. L.A. swamped the Seattle Seahawks 30-13 in Week 1 and then lost a tough one last Sunday to the San Francisco 49ers 30-23. Although Cincy was expected to battle for another Super Bowl run, quarterback Joe Burrow has been hobbled with a calf injury in the first two weeks of the season. The struggles have culminated in a pair of losses, 24-3 to the Cleveland Browns and 27-24 to the Baltimore Ravens.
As you would expect from Cincinnati with Head Coach Zac Taylor being from the Sean McVay coaching tree, the Stripes offense is pass-centric. Offensive schemes between L.A. and Cincy not the only similarities, fourth-year QB Joe Burrow likes to sit back in the shotgun formation and read defenses mirroring Rams veteran QB Matthew Stafford. Burrow is already considered an NFL top-tier quarterback and has already thrown for 12,078 yards, and 84 touchdowns in his first three years. Also akin to Stafford, he has a propensity to take sacks, taking an average of 41 sacks per season.
With all that said, the Bengals run game is no slouch. Although Joe Mixon is more of a down-hill runner, he has the vision to find cutback lanes in Cincy’s wide/mid zone running attack. He’s got good burst and in space, shows some shiftiness and power. In 14 games last year, he rushed for 814 yards and caught 60 passes for another 441. He tallied nine touchdowns.
This year Cincinnati is struggling on both offense and defense. They are ranked 30th in points scored, 30th in passing offense as well, and 28th in rushing. The defense is incrementally better, ranked 22nd in points allowed and 30th in run defense. The pass defense has held up their end with a #9 ranking on the strength of a very aggressive pass rush attack.
Before the season began, pundits had marked this game as a loss for the Rams. Can they defy expectations for a third week in a row? The Rams offense has dominated time of possession in each of the first two weeks with a combination of quick passing and a crude, but effective run game, while the young defense appears seemingly comfortable in the bend-but-don’t break scheme.
The Bengals have home field advantage and were greatly improved from Week 1 in last weeks tight loss to a strong Baltimore Raven squad. QB Burrow’s injury is likely the tipping point. Here’s how to watch or listen and follow what happens.
How to follow the game
Date: Monday, September 25
Kickoff: 5:15 p.m. PST
Location: Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Oh.
Watch it live on TV: Nationally on ESPN
Live stream: A host of streaming services including LA Rams Mobile App, NFL+, ESPN+, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and You Tube TV
Listen: ESPNLA 710 AM, KWKW 1330 AM, JACK 93.1 FM
ESPNLA’s affiliate radio stations:
- KMET/1490 AM & 98.1 FM - Banning, CA
- KFIG/1430 AM & 790 FM – Fresno, CA
- KAVL/610 AM & 106.7 FM – Lancaster, CA
- KRHQ/102.3 AM - Palm Springs, CA
- KTIE/590 AM – Riverside, CA
- KGB/760 AM – San Diego, CA
- KXTK/1280 AM & 101.7 FM – San Luis Obispo, CA
- KSMA/1240 AM & 99.5 FM - Santa Maria, CA
En Español: Tu Liga Radio 1330 AM
Tu Liga Radio’s affiliate radio stations:
- KTMZ/1220 AM – Pomona, CA
- KCAL/1410 AM – San Bernardino and Riverside, CA
- KOXR 910 AM – Oxnard and Ventura, CA
Current betting odds @ DraftKings Sportsbook
Line: Rams +2 -11 / Bengals -2 -110
Over/under total: 43.5 -110
Money line: Rams +105 / Bengals -125