One of the hottest teams in the NFL faces of against one whose temperature could be described as lukewarm on Sunday afternoon. The Bengals started off the season 3-0 and then had a bye in week 4. They then proceeded to get blown out by the Patriots in week 5 and then ending up in a tie last week vs. the Panthers. The Colts started the season 0-2 and the talk around the league was whether or not offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s offense was a fit with franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. Then they proceeded to win four consecutive games including last weeks win over the Texans. The win gave the Colts sole possession of first place in the AFC South while despite not getting the win, a tie was enough for the Bengals to maintain possession of first place in the AFC North.
The Bengals and Panthers had an anti-climatic ending considering it ended in a tie, however it was a great NFL game to watch. Quarterback Andy Dalton was solid but far from spectacular going 33/43 for 323 yards and two touchdowns to go with 2 interceptions. Giovanni Bernard had a solid stat line of 18 carries for 137 yards however most of those yards came on an 89 yards second quarter touchdown run. The overtime was action packed with both teams getting a chance to possess the ball they exchanged field goals. Dalton was 8-9 in the overtime and managed to set his team up for a last minute field goal, unfortunately kicker Mike Nugent missed what would have been the game winner from 36 yards out as time expired. Star wide receiver A.J Green did not play due to injury and is questionable for this week against the Colts. Whether Green plays or not the Bengals are hoping they will be able to continue to get the ball into the hands of Mohamed Sanuwho caught 11 of his 15 targets last week for 120 yards and a touchdown.
The Colts started out in dominant fashion last weekend vs. the Texans. They were up 24-0 and appeared to be in cruise control early in the game. Coach Chuck Pagano implored his team to not let them back in the game, however the Texans were able to chip away and after a J.J Watt fumble return for a touchdown the lead was 5 at 33-28. Fortunately for the Colts that ended up being the final score of the game. The Colts game the Texans two chances to win the game and both times but the Colts were able to come up with fumble recoveries to end both drives. Luck ended up with 370 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver T.Y Hilton has been the best receiver for the Colts this year. He has 640 receiving yards and 40 catches to rank amongst league leaders in both categories. The Colts will need to learn how to play with a lead and not rely on it defense at any time.
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