It took two seasons, but fans will finally get a Super Bowl rematch between the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. The clash of former NFC and AFC Championship titans happens in Week 3's Monday Night Football. As we all know, that game was a hard-fought battle between the two teams that came down to the wire.
Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow was about a second away from hitting WR Ja'Maar Chase on a game-winning go route for the win, but Rams All-Pro defensive tackle, Aaron Donald, came out with the game sealing sack. It's a good thing this rematch didn't happen last year given the Rams' injury woes, but this week's game may turn into a dud for the Cincinnati Bengals.
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Early Struggles for the Cincinnati Bengals
The play of the Cincinnati Bengals through two weeks has been below average at best as they are off to an 0-2 start. In a Week 1 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, they were embarrassed by a score of 24-3. Some will say it was due to the bad weather, but if that is the case why did the Browns also do well? Some close to the Bengals believe that the slow start is due to the fact that, like the Rams, Joe Burrow saw no action in preseason games.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow was held to 82 passing yards and 0 touchdowns while his elite receiver Ja'Maar Chase only had five receptions for 39 yards. Even more surprising was WR Tee Higgins's 0 catches for 0 yards on eight targets and RB Joe Mixon being held to 56 yards rushing. The Bengals also only managed to grab six first downs throughout the entire game and were 2-15 on third down. The craziest stat from this game is that the Bengals failed to reach the red zone throughout the entirety of the matchup.
Despite their abysmal performance in Week 1, the Cincinnati Bengals had a slightly better game in their Week 2 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. They still lost the game by a score of 27-24 but their play improved on the offensive side of the ball, if only slightly. This time, QB Joe Burrow managed to throw for 222 yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception with WR Tee Higgins snagging 8 receptions for 89 yards and both touchdowns. Once again however, star WR Ja'Maar Chase only managed 5 receptions on 8 targets for 31 yards while RB Joe Mixon had 59 yards on 13 carries.
It seems the Bengals are in a rut which looks to favor the Los Angeles Rams path to victory in week 3, at least for logical thinking football fans. Somehow, someone somewhere, has the betting line as -2.5 in favor of the Cincinnati Bengals and ESPN's matchup predictor has gives the Bengals a 65.3% chance to win the game with only a 34.4% chance in the Rams favor. I think someone may need to re-evaluate who they are hiring to come up with these numbers.