Go-Bengals Preview Thread
Bengals vs Colts 1pm Indianapolis
The Bengals (3-1-1) travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts (4-2) Sunday. The matchup of the two division leaders is the 26th all time between the franchises. This number dates back to 1970 when the Colts were located in Baltimore. Indianapolis leads the series 16-10 including a 42-28 win in 2013. The Colts are 9-6 at home against Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is coming off a disappointing tie to Carolina after Mike Nugent missed a game winning field goal as time expired in over time. The game was also costly in terms of injuries as the team lost starting linebackers Rey Maualuga and Emmanuel Lamur to injuries that have kept them out of practice this week.
COLTS HAVE THE BALL
The Colts enter the game with the top ranked offense in the league averaging 444 yards per game. They are 16th in rushing yards per game, 1st in passing yards per game and 1st in scoring. The Bengals highly ranked defense from 2013 has dropped all the way to 28th overall this season giving up over 398 yards per game. They are 29th in rushing defense, 22nd in passing defense and 14th in scoring defense.
The leader of the Colts offense is Andrew Luck. Luck has completed 66% of his passes this year for 1987 yards with 17 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He leads the league in both yards and touchdowns.
Seven different players have caught 13 balls or more from Luck this season. The WR unit is led by T.Y. Hilton (40 catches for 604 yards) and Reggie Wayne (34-419). They also have two dangerous tight ends in Dwayne Allen (18-253) and Coby Fleener (13-150), a position that the Bengals have struggled to contain.
Although, the Colts rushing game has been the weakest part of the offense, they have been very diverse. The team is one of only two in the league with two running backs that have more than 400 yards from scrimmage. Ahmad Bradshaw has 460 yards and Trent Richardson 413.
The Bengals defense is getting thinner and thinner. With Lamur and Maualuga questionable for Sunday’s game it will be interesting to see who replaces them in the Bengals lineup. One option is nickel linebacker and safety Taylor Mays. Mays carved out a niche as a nickel linebacker at the end of the year prior to an injury but has not seen much time this season. Mays has played just 14 snaps from scrimmage this season. Marquis Flowers (4) and Jayson Dimanche (15) are the only LBs to see time on defense outside of the top 4.
BENGALS HAVE THE BALL
The Bengals enter the game with the 5th ranked offense in the league averaging 397 yards per game. They are 11th in rushing yards per game, 8th in passing yards per game and 9th in scoring. The Colts defense is ranked 13th overall, giving up 340 yards per game. They are 11th in rushing defense, 14th in passing defense and 16th in scoring defense.
On the injury front it looks like Kevin Zeitler will finally return this week. His presence should help the running game as the Bengals face a Colt defense that is giving up 4.7 yards per running play.
In the passing game AJ Green remains a question with a foot injury and the team will be without Marvin Jones who was placed on season ending injured reserve with a leg injury. New edition Greg Little will team with Mohamed Sanu, Dane Sanzenbacher, Brandon Tate and James Wright to fill the void.
Zeitler’s return will also be important for protecting Dalton. Despite the loss of last year’s sack leader Robert Mathis to suspension and then injury the Colts 3-4 defense is 4th in the league in sacks per attempt.
Protecting Dalton has been a strength so far. Cincinnati’s line has given up the fewest sacks per attempt in the league this year.
Keys to the Game:
The game will likely hinge on several things;
- Can the Bengals 28th ranked defense slow down the best offense in the league?
- Can the Bengals get the passing game going without Green and Jones?
- Can the Bengals get the running game going and keep the ball away from Luck?
Go-Bengals prediction: 46 Go-Bengals Members posted in this week’s poll.
41% Believed that the Colts would win by 7-13 points
21% Believed that the Bengals would win by 1-6 points
17% Believed that the Colts would win by 2 touchdowns or more
13% Believed that the Colts would win by 1-6 points
4 % Believed that the Bengals would win by 2 touchdowns or more
2% Believed that the Bengals would win by 7-13 points
28% Believed that the Bengals would win
71% Believed that the Colts would win
Weston’s take on the game.
1. Prediction: Colts 42, Bengals 21
2. MVP: Andrew Luck
3. Key matchups/strategies when the Bengals have the ball: Bengals trying to put up enough points with a thin WR corps and trying to get tons of Time of possession.
4. Key matchups/strategies when the Colts have the ball: Slowing down Andrew Luck.
5. Any notable notes you want to add: I think the Colts are oddly easy to root for. Luck is very likable and so is Reggie Wayne. While I want the Bengals to win, if the Colts can win the AFC I’d be much happier than Peyton or Brady.
Highlights from the Prediction thread.
- Saphead: This is just the type of game we should absolutely lose which means we pull out a win by a score of 27-27
- VonBlade: Our biggest weakness is stopping the run, and their biggest weakness is running the ball. With their more regular offence we can run a more standard D, so I would think that we can pull out a win. Also haven't we beaten them the last three or four times we've played?
- Rumble: Get ready for a 3-2-1
- FulcherVulcher33: if the team shows up that played the first three games of the year we will win, if the team that shows up the last two weeks we'll get our ass beat
- SouthPaw: Prediction: Pain. Colts- 40 Cincinnati- 23
- Mr Hopeful: Not being a homer but I truly believe we will win. I think it will be from more of a defensive stance then offensive. Unfortunately I think that this is the week that our offense struggles. We will capitalize off of turnovers and end up winning by a TD.
- BengalRep: Road game against a very good QB that knows how to use his TE. That's kryptonite for us. Luck puts up at least 30 in a Colts win.
- LeTigre: I am so confident in this game...I plan to go play golf and not watch a down of it. (not saying the direction of confidence, however.
- Fluhartz: Going full blown homer here. Bengals defense gets their heads out of their ass and hold Luck a little. Dalton and company do just enough to get the win. Bengals 27-24.
- Whodey365: Loss. No doubt about it. The nice thing is that luck in my fantasy qb and I think he'll get me 30-35 points. Silver lining