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Game Preview: Rams, Bengals square off in London

The Rams (4-3) face the Bengals (0-7) in Los Angeles' first regular season game at Wembley Stadium since 2012. Cincinnati, meanwhile, is still seeking its first win of the season.

To get you ready for the contest, compiled a quick preview featuring who to watch, what to watch for on offense and defense for both the Rams and the Bengals and three keys to victory for L.A.

Five players to watch

  • Rams RB Darrell Henderson Jr.: With Malcolm Brown ruled out, Henderson will back up starter Todd Gurley again this weekend.  
  • Rams CB Darious Williams: He's the next man up if Troy Hill (hamstring) is unable to play.
  • Bengals RB Joe Mixon: The AFC's leading rusher last season hasn't been able to replicate his 2018 form so far. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said this week that it's "frustrating" they haven't been to get the run game going, so perhaps there will be more of an emphasis to do so against the Rams.
  • Bengals WR Tyler Boyd: A former TCU standout, Boyd has been QB Andy Dalton's top target while A.J. Green has been sidelined with an ankle injury.
  • Rams S Eric Weddle: Despite the injuries they've endured, the Bengals have still managed to produce the NFL's 12th-best passing offense in 2019. Communication in the secondary will be key, and that starts with Weddle.

What to watch for…

On offense for the Rams

What Henderson can contribute.

Brown will miss his second straight game due to an ankle injury, opening the door for more snaps for Henderson for the second week in a row. Henderson's ability to break tackles as a runner and contribute as a receiver made him a valuable part of the offense last Sunday against the Falcons, so it will be interesting to see what his role is and the extent to which the flow of the game dictates it.

On offense for the Bengals

Highlighted earlier in this piece, it's whether Mixon and the ground game can make an impact.

Mixon has 254 rushing yards entering Week 8, while Cincinnati is averaging just 53.1 yards per game as a team. By this same time last year, Mixon had double the rushing yardage total, while Cincinnati averaged 33.2 more yards per contest.

He has the talent to produce at a higher level – will the Bengals make a point to get him established on Sunday?

On defense for the Rams

Weddle mentioned last week that only 30 percent of the Rams' defense was installed for Jalen Ramsey's debut.

Now that Ramsey has had an additional week to learn it, it will be worth watching to see how his increased familiarity with L.A.'s concepts and schemes impacts what he'll be able to provide on Sunday.

On defense for the Bengals

Who steps up at cornerback.

Starter Dre Kirkpatrick and reserve Darqueze Dennard have both already been ruled out in advance of Sunday's game.

Three keys to victory

  1. Limit the Bengals' passing game: As mentioned before, it's a top 15 unit with Mixon, Boyd and TE Tyler Eifert still healthy.
  2. Capitalize on chances in own passing game: Cincinnati allows the 16th-most passing yards per game at 241.9, so Los Angeles will have its chances but they won't come easy.
  3. Run the ball: The Bengals allow a league-high 189 rushing yards per game.

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