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The Rams defense played extremely well against the Bengals. They kept the team and its mediocre offense in the contest for nearly four quarters. They limited the Bengals to a measly 173 total yards in the game.
It's probably a really tough year to truly evaluate the Rams defense. The unit has been been poor against the run for much of the season (ranked 32nd in the NFL). That being said, it's very difficult to clearly determine how bad or good the Ram defense is. The offense is so bad that it puts the defense in bad situations over and over.
Upgrades need to be made on defense, especially at linebacker and corner. That's for sure. However, the unit has played hard all year and is much better than people think. They were instrumental on keeping the team in the game Sunday. Hopefully, the offense will improve. It that happens, the Rams might be on the winning track sooner rather than later.