Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts Preview: Hell in a Cell in Indy

  • A.J. Green
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Frank Reich
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Joe Burrow
  • Johnathon Taylor
  • NFL Regular Season
  • Phil Rivers
  • Quenton Nelson
  • Zac Taylor
By Sam Connaughton October 16, 2020 0 Comment

The Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts on Sunday in what has all the ingredients to be an absolute slugfest.

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off their worst loss of the year in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens. The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a loss that they felt they choked away. These teams will meet on Sunday and they are quite familiar with one another.  The Colts, logistically, are the closest NFL team to the Bengals. They play each other every preseason and will play each other for the third time in the past four regular seasons on Sunday. The Bengals have won the last two meetings with the last one coming at Lucas Oil Stadium. Bengals fans will be making the trek to Indy to watch what has all the makings of a titanic struggle for both teams.

When the Cincinnati Bengals are on offense:

Sam Connaughton: To say the Bengals offensive performance versus Baltimore was gross would be an absolute understatement. They looked like they shouldn’t have even been on the same field as the Ravens defense. During the week following, head coach Zac Taylor and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow implored that the Bengals offense wasn’t pushing the “panic button”. The only problem is they play a very capable defense in Indy. The Colts defense is one of the best defenses in the NFL and can truly shut a team down. That can’t happen on Sunday. Taylor and Burrow will be tasked with finding a rhythm early on offense. That is the key to the Bengals offense this week. They never got in one last Sunday and Taylor and Burrow know how that ended up. Look for this Bengals offense to come out crisp on the first ten plays and if they aren’t, it could be another long day for Bengals fans.

When the Indianapolis Colts are on defense:

Kyle Smith: The Bengals offensive line simply could not communicate last week, leaving Burrow with more grass stains on his back than any QB should. The Ravens blitzed on over 50% of the defensive snaps, often leading to free runners at the QB. The Bengals had no answer.

Prior to last week, Joe Burrow had been able to dice up defenses who blitz. His intermediate accuracy was lethal against the blitz and opposing linebackers. Last week, Burrow got in his own head and was at fault for a few of the sacks and two turnovers.

The Colts defense will look to send their speedy linebackers at Burrow all game long. Darius Leonard is doubtful to play, but Anthony Walker and Bobby Okereke are sideline to sideline backers who can rush and cover. They will absolutely be on the hunt for Burrow all afternoon.

When the Cincinnati Bengals are on defense:

KS: Philip Rivers is clearly past his prime and quite honestly is holding the Colts back from their full potential. Through five games, Rivers has only four touchdowns and five interceptions. He has yet to throw multiple touchdowns in a game.

The Bengals have improved dramatically on the defensive side of the ball. Jessie Bates III is becoming the playmaking safety they hoped he would. Logan Wilson has two interceptions this season and should have had a third last week. Darius Phillips has also shown dramatic improvement over the course of the season and has become a solid CB2.

If the Bengals offense can score enough to force Philip Rivers to have to throw the ball, the defense will be able to take advantage of turnover worthy plays. Look for Lou Anarumo to show some new packages to confuse the QB, much like he did against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens

When the Indianapolis Colts are on offense:

SC: This Colts offense touts one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. It starts with All Pro guard Quenton Nelson but they have Pro Bowl like talent at all five spots on the offensive line. That should scare the heck out of Bengals fans. The Bengals defensive line is destroyed and have struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks all season. The recipe for success for the Colts offense is simple. They have to win this football game in the trenches. If the Indianapolis offensive line handles the Bengals front seven, this game could get out of hand fast. That would give the Colts the ability to run the football with Johnathon Taylor and would give aging veteran Phillip Rivers plenty of time in the pocket. That is the recipe for disaster for the Bengals defense. Experts love talking about how football is won in the trenches and that is the absolute truth in this football game.

Cincinnati Bengals X Factor:

SC: The X factor this week is not a player for the Bengals. It is the head coach for Cincinnati, Zac Taylor. Zac Taylor needs to prove that he is the offensive guru that the Bengals brought him in to be. You prove that against good defenses. He has only beaten bad teams in the NFL and this game provides an opportunity to beat a team with a bad offense but a high end defense. Taylor needs to call a great game and a game where his offense gets in rhythm early. Its safe to say the Bengals offense struggled mightily against the Ravens. That just doesn’t cut it and will not be tolerated by fans.  The hot seat on Zac Taylor continues to grow warmer every passing loss. A win against a playoff caliber team in the Colts would do a lot to momentarily silence the haters.

Indianapolis Colts X factor:

KS: The key to every Colts victory has been a dominant run game and controlling the clock. Jonathan Taylor has been a viable option at running back since the loss of Marlon Mack. If Taylor can rush for over 100 yards and keep the ball out of Rivers’ hands, the Colts should be able to win with ease. If the Bengals squander the Colts rush game, Indianapolis could be in trouble.

Predictions:

KS: 24-20 Colts

SC: 24-17 Colts


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