Stripe Hype Preview: Bengals vs Berlin?
No, the Queen City Cats didn’t declare war on Germany. The Berlin they’re preparing to go up against is 3rd string St. Louis Rams quarterback Brock Berlin. The Cincinnati Bengals will go up against the Rams on Sunday with the distinct possibly they’ll be facing off against a rookie who has not thrown a pass in the NFL.
Berlin may get the nod thanks to the fact that Marc Bulger appears shaky following a concussion, and backup Gus Frerotte is suffering from both an injured shoulder, and a lack of talent.
When the Bengals have the ball
Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson, and T.J. Housmanzadeh should be able to put up solid numbers against the Rams mediocre defense. St. Louis ranks 19th in the NFL against the pass, and that’s not a recipe for success when going up against the 4th rated passing offense.
Carson has had a very up and down season this year, throwing for 21 TDs, but 15 INTs. He followed up a three touchdown outing against the Tennessee Titans with no touchdowns, and just 17 completions in 44 attempts against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. He’ll need to right the ship this week, as the Rams might be 3-9, but they started out 0-8, playing much better football over the last month.
The Bengals rushing offense has been wholly ineffective this season, partly due to the fact that the team has been in a shootout, and playing from behind almost every game this year. Rudi Johnson has been a non factor all season, rushing for over 100 yards just once all season, and approaching 100 one other time. Kenny Watson has been explosive at times, rushing for 130 yards against the Jets, but for the most part, he’s been equally bottled up.
When the Rams have the ball
If Brock Berlin is indeed the QB for St. Louis, the Bengals will have no excuse if they can’t stop the pass. However after seeing Redskins backup Todd Collins light up the Bears, who knows, maybe this is the week of the backup quarterback. There is still also a chance that Marc Bulger could play in the game, having practiced sparingly during the week.
We all know the Bengals defense has been attrocious but it bears repeating. Cincinatti has given up an average of 238.3 yards per game through the air, ranking them 26th in the league, and an average of 118 yards per game on the ground, ranking them 23rd.
Rams runningback Steven Jackson has to be licking his chops thinking about going up against this Bungle defense. Jackson has fallen just short of rushing for 100 yards in three straight game, topping out around 90 each week, and is looking towards topping 100 in the first half tomorrow.
Stripe Hype Final Call
Even if Steven Jackson is able to have success running against a porous Bungles front line, the Rams passing game should have problems keeping up with Ocho, TJ, and company. Bengals win 34-20.