Rams Vs. Bengals Preview: Cincinnati Looking To Stay In AFC Wildcard Race

The St. Louis Rams (2-11) host the Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) in Week 15. Can the Rams still make waves by upsetting the AFC playoff picture?

It has been a nightmare season for the St. Louis Rams, but they do have an opportunity to make the Cincinnati Bengals share in their misery if they can pull an upset victory in Week 15. Sam Bradford still has a chance to build something positive heading into 2012, but he needs to start soon because there are only three games left. The best news for the team is that they don't have to play an NFC opponent this week, because they have gone 1-10 against conference foes this season, while pulling off a respectable 1-1 in head-to-head matchups with AFC teams.

Andy Dalton and the Bengals have actually been better on the road (4-3) than at home (3-3), and are trying to stay alive in a very competitive AFC Wildcard race. Cincinnati has generally been very good against lesser opponents, but has lost against every team they have played that currently has a record above .500 with the except being the Tennessee Titans. Of course, the Rams would slide into the "lesser opponent" category, so it bodes well for a team that needs every win it can get down the stretch.

Here is a statistical breakdown of the two teams courtesy SB Nation's Bengals blog, Cincy Jungle:

TEAM RANKINGS

Offense Bengals Rams
Total 322.9 (20th) 283.8 (30th)
Scoring 21.9 (19th) 11.8 (32nd)
Third Downs 36% (19th) 28% (32nd)
Rushing 107.5 (19th) 99.8 (26th)
Rushing TDs 7 (t-23rd) 5 (29th)
20-Yard Runs 4 (30th) 5 (t-27th)
Passing 215.4 (19th) 184.0 (28th)
Passing TDs 19 (t-12th) 7 (32nd)
Sacks Allowed 21 (t-3rd) 46 (32nd)
20-yard Passes 45 (t-14th) 30 (t-28th)
Defense Bengals Rams
Total 314.8 (7th) 365.6 (25th)
Scoring 20.8 (12th) 25.1 (25th)
3rd Downs Allowed 37% (16th) 40% (21st)
Rushing 100.0 (7th) 156.8 (32nd)
Rushing TDs 12 (t-23rd) 10 (t-17th)
20-Yard Runs 8 (t-11th) 13 (t-26th)
Passing 214.8 (11th) 208.8 (8th)
Passing TDs 17 (t-10th) 19 (t-16th)
Sacks 36 (t-6th) 35 (t-9th)
QB Rating 85.3 (17th) 87.6 (21st)
20-Yard Passes Allowed 37 (t-11th) 41 (t-15th)
Interceptions 7 (t-28th) 10 (t-20th)
Special Teams Bengals Rams
Kickoff Return 22.6 (24th) 23.1 (19th)
Punt Return 10.8 (11th) 11.8 (7th)
Punting (Net) 39.2 (t-14th) 37.1 (t-24th)
Punts Inside the 20 22 (t-9th) 24 (t-5th)

Stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the St. Louis Rams be sure to visit Turf Show Times. For more on the Cincinnati Bengals, check out Cincy Jungle. Visit SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.

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