Tavon Austin up, Rams' defense down in loss to Bengals

CINCINNATI -- A look at St. Louis Rams players who were "up" and those who were "down" in Sunday's 31-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.


WR Tavon Austin: Perhaps inspired by the shooting of his close friend Stedman Bailey earlier this week, Austin gave everything he had in a losing cause Sunday. He was the only consistent source of production for the offense and scored the team's lone touchdown as he finished with 96 yards from scrimmage. There wasn't much else of positive impact from the Rams' side in this one.


The defense: It's been a long year for a defense that's been on the field as much as this one. The combination of that wear and tear with a talented Cincinnati offense led to the group's second poor performance in the past three weeks as the Rams' defense continued its tumble toward mediocrity once again.

QB Nick Foles: Yes, we know the quarterback isn't solely to blame for the offense's struggles and we'll get to that in a minute. But in case it wasn't already clear, the Rams don't have a starting-caliber NFL quarterback on the roster. Foles was 30-of-46 for 228 yard with no touchdowns and three interceptions, including a ghastly decision and throw that led to a pick-6 in the third quarter.

The offensive line: This unit could have been a staple in this spot all season, but the most disappointing aspect of the group -- other than the injuries -- is that there just hasn't been any noticeable improvement as the season has progressed. Foles was under pressure most of the day and running room was nonexistent for running back Todd Gurley in yet another anemic offensive performance.