Engel Eye: Whither the Rams, Lions
Every week in the Engel Eye, I'll take a look at some key performances from Sunday. We'll determine which players are ones to keep watching, and I'll pinpoint late-season trends.
Aired out: Neither the Rams nor the Bengals provided much to fantasy players in terms of the passing game in their rain-soaked, meaningless game Sunday. St. Louis struggled to generate offense behind third-string quarterback Brock Berlin, who often looked confused and incapable of making accurate throws. Torry Holt, however, still caught eight passes for 90 yards, and Steven Jackson, even with the defense focusing heavily on him, rushed for 91 yards on 18 carries and added 26 receiving yards. With Marc Bulger's status uncertain for their final games, the offense will lean heavily on Holt and Jackson for good, but not outstanding, numbers. The defense picked off two passes for the second consecutive week and has totaled 43 fantasy points in its past four games. St. Louis does have Green Bay and Pittsburgh next, though, so even though their secondary has picked up its play recently, the run of temporary success is about to end. Rudi Johnson provided the bulk of the offense for the Bengals and now has scored in three consecutive games. He finishes the season against San Francisco, Miami and Cleveland and has re-emerged as a must-start No. 2 fantasy back. The Cincinnati passing game should also bounce back quickly with Johnson running well again and adding more balance to the offense in three final matchups against shaky defenses.
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