Skip to main content

Setting The Scene: Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals

2021 SB LAR_11 TAYLOR (6)-lowres

Kickoff: 6 p.m. Eastern.

Television: Live coverage on the Bengals Preseason TV Network with broadcasters Mike Watts (play-by-play), Anthony Munoz (analyst) and Marisa Contipelli (sideline reporter). The game also will be simulcast nationally by NFL Network. The Bengals Preseason TV Network is led by flagship WKRC-TV (CBS Channel 12) in Cincinnati. Also on the network are WKEF-TV (ABC Ch. 22) in Dayton, WSYX-TV (ABC Ch. 6) in Columbus, WLIO-TV (FOX Ch. 8.2) in Lima, WDKY-TV (FOX Ch. 56) in Lexington, Ky. and WDRB-TV (FOX Ch. 41) in Louisville, Ky.

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WCKY-AM (1530) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

Setting the scene: The Bengals wrap up their preseason slate on Saturday when they host the Los Angeles Rams at Paycor Stadium. Cincinnati faces the Rams in a rematch of Super Bowl LVI, played on Feb. 13, 2022 in Los Angeles. The Bengals fell short, 23-20, in the franchise's third all-time trip to the Super Bowl, and now enter a new season looking to return to the biggest stage. They go into Saturday's contest 0-2 in preseason, after falling 36-23 to the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 12 and 25-22 at the N.Y. Giants on Aug. 21. Saturday will be the end of an extensive stay in The Queen City for the Rams, as the Bengals are set to host joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday at the Kettering Health Practice Fields. Cincinnati's starters, who for the most part have not played in preseason, get the chance to compete against an opponent before the regular season kicks off. Meanwhile, the Bengals' younger personnel will have one final opportunity to secure the remaining spots on the 53-player roster. "It's like we've got four games in a row," head coach Zac Taylor said before Sunday's game against the Giants. "There's no more practices. We're playing this weekend, we're playing twice next week against the Rams, and then playing against them next weekend. That's going to be great work for a lot of these young players to see different types of players that they're going against and different schemes."

While the Bengals have been on the losing side of both preseason games, multiple players have flashed their potential in key areas. Headlining that group is S Dax Hill, the team's first-round draft choice in 2022 who had six tackles and an INT on Sunday night. In each of his two starts, Hill has displayed a highly touted versatility and nose for the ball that is receiving praise from his coaches. "[The interception] was a great play," said Taylor. "That's a tough play. He just finds a way to get around the ball and get his hands on the ball, and had a couple of opportunities last week. It was good to see him make the most of that one."

Cincinnati's fourth-round pick this year, G Cordell Volson, has also garnered attention as he competes for the starting role at left guard. The North Dakota State product played all 67 offensive snaps at New York and earned recognition for his performance from several teammates. "He can only get better from where he's at," said QB Brandon Allen. "For a rookie in his position, he's a really good player and I think the good group of guys around him in the O-line room are going to help him and turn him into a great player."

Allen has started both of Cincinnati's preseason games, and played through the opening drive of the third quarter against the Giants. He completed 14 of 20 passes for 105 yards, a week after exiting the preseason opener vs. Arizona with a concussion. As the Bengals begin to shift their focus to the regular season, perhaps the most popular storyline of training camp has been the return of third-year QB Joe Burrow. Burrow, who in 2021 set team single-season records for passing yardage (4611), passing TDs (34) and passer rating (108.3), missed nearly three weeks of practice as he recovered from an appendectomy on July 26. He returned to full participation on Aug. 14, and is set to take part in joint practices with the Rams this week. Cincinnati has seen multiple other players miss time throughout training camp, including second-year pro Jackson Carman, who is battling for the starting LG role but did not play against the Giants due to COVID-19 protocols. The team's second-round draft pick, CB Cam Taylor-Britt, underwent surgery for a core injury last week and Zac Taylor has said he will miss the remainder of preseason. The Rams enter Saturday's matchup 1-1 in preseason, after a 24-20 loss to Houston last Friday.

The series: The Bengals lead 8-6 overall in regular season. In postseason, the Rams lead 1-0, earning that victory in Super Bowl LVI this past February. The teams have met just two times in preseason and stand 1-1. The Bengals won in a 1988 meeting in the Hall of Fame game, and Rams won in a 2009 preseason contest at Cincinnati.

Bengals-Rams connections: Bengals head coach Zac Taylor spent two seasons on the Rams' staff (2017-18), serving as assistant wide receivers coach in '17 and quarterbacks coach in '18 ... Bengals WR Mike D. Thomas was a sixth-round pick of the Rams in 2016 and spent four seasons with the team ('16-19) ... Rams CB Troy Hill was a college free agent signee of the Bengals in 2015 and played in three games that season ... Rams head coach Sean McVay played wide receiver at Miami (Ohio) University ... Rams QB Matthew Stafford played for the Detroit Lions when Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was the quarterbacks coach (2016-17) ... Callahan was an offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach with the Denver Broncos in 2015, when Rams special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis held the same role ... Rams DB Grant Haley played for the N.Y. Giants from 2018-19, when Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo was the defensive backs coach ('18) and linebackers coach James Bettcher was the defensive coordinator ('18-19) ... Rams DT Michael Hoecht is from Oakwood, Ohio (approx. 54 miles north of Cincinnati) ... Bengals CB Tre Flowers was teammates with Rams LB Bobby Wagner on the Seattle Seahawks from 2018-21 ... Bengals G Alex Cappa was teammates with Rams K Matt Gay on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019 ... Bengals TE Hayden Hurst was teammates with Rams WR Brandon Powell and DB Tyler Hall on the Atlanta Falcons in 2020 ... Hall also played alongside Bengals LB Logan Wilson at Wyoming from 2016-18 ... Bengals QB Brandon Allen and Rams LB Justin Hollins were teammates on the Denver Broncos in 2019 ... Rams DT Marquise Copeland played at the University of Cincinnati from 2015-18 ... Rams DB Jordan Fuller played at Ohio State from 2016-19, and was teammates with Bengals QB Joe Burrow ('16-17), P Drue Chrisman ('17-19), DE Sam Hubbard ('16-17), LB Keandre Jones ('16-18) and OT Isaiah Prince ('16-18) ... Bengals G Jackson Carman was teammates with Rams OT Tremayne Anchrum Jr. at Clemson from 2018-19 ... Bengals WR Kendric Pryor played at Wisconsin from 2016-21, alongside Rams G Logan Bruss ('18-21) and G David Edwards ('16-18) ... Bengals WR Tyler Boyd and Rams DT Aaron Donald were teammates at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 ... Rams OT Bobby Evans played at Oklahoma from 2016-18, alongside Bengals HB Joe Mixon ('16) and HB Samaje Perine ('16) ... Rams WR Van Jefferson was teammates at Florida with Bengals DT Zach Carter and K Evan McPherson from 2018-19 ... Bengals LB Markus Bailey and Rams TE Brycen Hopkins were teammates at Purdue from 2016-19 ... Rams TE Jared Pinkney played at Vanderbilt from 2015-19, alongside Bengals OT Devin Cochran ('16-18) and CB Allan George ('18-19) ... Bengals QB Jake Browning (2015-18) and TE Drew Sample ('14-18) played at the University of Washington, alongside Rams DB Taylor Rapp ('16-18) and G Coleman Shelton ('13-17) ... Bengals TE Justin Rigg played at Kentucky in 2021, when Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen held the same role for the Wildcats ... Bengals G Cordell Volson and Rams OLB Brayden Thomas were teammates at North Dakota State from 2020-21 ... Rams pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach Chris Shula played linebacker at Miami (Ohio), and is the son of former Bengals head coach David Shula.