The battle between two teams trending in different directions got off to an interesting start. Cincinnati is fighting for their playoff lives, while St. Louis is just trying build momentum heading into the offseason.
We head into half with St. Louis leading 6-3.
Here are five telling stats from the first half that explain the half that was and what the Rams need to do in order to win this game.
48 Yards Rushing
Steven Jackson needs to be the No. 1 option in the second half. He is as powerful running back as there is in the NFL, and he possesses the unique ability to run between the tackles but can also stretch the defense outside.
2 for 3
Josh Brown missed an early attempt at a field goal that would have tied the game. A team that is struggling to score points can not afford mistakes in the kicking game. Brown was able to redeem himself in the second quarter by drilling his second attempt. The Rams need to convert on all scoring opportunities if they want to win this game.
4 Catches, 94 Yards
The Rams secondary has been as injury plagued as any team in the NFL, but they need to do a better job of guarding A.J. Green. Green is a defensive back’s nightmare. He is so tall, fast, and athletic that it is hard to contain him. If he continues to make huge plays in the second half there is no way the Rams can win this game.
1:0 Turnover Ratio
Excellent job by forcing Andy Dalton into a careless throw that resulted in a turnover. Unfortunately, the Rams offense was unable to put points on the board. Winning the turnover battle is not enough for the Rams. They need to convert those turnovers into points if they want to pull this upset.
1 Blocked Kick
The Rams defense has been playing exceptionally well in the first half. The special teams unit was able to take advantage of the Bengals pour field position and put the pressure on the punter. They were able to tip the kick giving their offense excellent field position. Plays like these will be key in the second half if St. Louis wants a victory.