SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30: Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by the defense of the Cincinnati Bengals on October 30, 2011 at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
If the Cincinnati Bengals own a spot on your fantasy football roster as a backup defense, one might consider the promotion into the starting lineup. After losing to the Seattle Seahawks during Monday Night Football, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, who is listed as doubtful this weekend, hasn’t practiced and published reports have Bradford in a walking boot. Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that, "It will be tough to get him to the game, but we're not giving up hope." Backup quarterback A.J. Feeley is already ruled out for this Sunday, meaning that Kellen Clemens, who was picked up off waivers on December 7, will likely get the start.
Clemens, who hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since 2007, has played 13 games with one start in the past four seasons, will be protected by an offensive line that’s allowed 46 quarterbacks sacks, worst in the NFL. And when the Rams run the ball with Steven Jackson, Cincinnati’s defense has proven to be strong defenders against the run, limiting running backs like Frank Gore, Fred Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Marshawn Lynch, Arian Foster and Chris Johnson to under 100 yards rushing.
If turnovers are rewarding in your respective league, consider that the Bengals posted a season-high four takeaways against the Houston Texans last weekend, though they only had four in the previous five games.
On paper the Cincinnati Bengals defense should have one of their best games against a struggling offense in St. Louis. But we’ve seen how that translation has looked in previous weeks.