Week 7 – Cincinnati @ Indianapolis: Bengals drop a great, big donut in Indy

The colours red and green have worked well together in Cincinnati for the past few seasons and now it seems one can’t work without the other as “Red” Dalton and the Bengals, minus star wide receiver AJ Green, were shut out in one of the biggest beatdowns of the season so far, losing 27-0 against the Andrew Luck-led Indianapolis Colts.

The Bengals spluttered throughout the game in one of the worst offensive performances of the season, by any team. Dalton threw for just 126 yards with a completion percentage of under 50%, Giovani Bernard was the top rusher with 17 yards on seven carries and Jermaine Gresham was the most reliable target with 10 receptions and only 48 yards.

Cincy didn’t register a first down until just before halftime, they didn’t have a third down conversion until deep into the fourth quarter, going 1 for 13 on third down conversions for the day and the team finished with a total of 135 net yards, most of which came in the final quarter.

Perhaps the most incredible stat which truly outlined the Colts dominance came early in the last quarter, when the total offensive yards by both teams read 443 to 47, in favour of the home side.

The Colts were efficient on offense all game. Luck continued his strong form, throwing for 344 yards and two touchdowns, running back Ahmad Bradshaw added another rushing touchdown which further improved his impressive stat line of 10 carries for 52 yards and TY Hilton caught seven passes for 107 yards.

However, it was the Colts defense which was truly dominant and helped the AFC South leaders to their fifth straight win, over a key AFC rival. They stopped everything the Bengals threw at them, from sweeps, checkdowns, deep throws and everything in between.

The game was a defensive slog from both teams early as Cincy went three and out in their first eight possessions.

The Bengals first half drives went 3 plays for 0 yards, 3 plays for 7 yards, 3 plays for 9 yards, 3 plays for -3 yards, 3 plays for 2 yards, 3 plays for 3 yards and finally 4 plays for 6 yards.

The Colts faced their own defensive struggles early, managing only a single field goal in the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the Colts truly take control of the game as the defense stifled the Cincy offense and their own offense began rolling. Bradshaw scored a one-yard touchdown to build a 10-0 lead and the Colts should have been further ahead; however, two fumbles by Bradshaw and Trent Richardson kept the Bengals in touch at halftime.

Luck threw his first touchdown midway through the third quarter to tight end Dwayne Allen and added a field goal and another receiving touchdown to Bradshaw in the fourth quarter to extend the Colts lead to 27.

Cincy came close to avoiding the shutout as they failed to capitalize on their first decent drive of the game, turning it over on downs at the Colts four-yard line.

Despite the 37 points the Bengals put up in their tie with Carolina in Week 6, “Red” Dalton clearly needs the dominant presence Green provides and they will be desperately hoping he is back for the divisional clash against the Ravens next week.

With their dominant win, the Colts improve to 5-2 and face a tricky trip to Pittsburgh in Week 8. The Bengals now sit at 3-3-1 with their divisional foes visiting Paul Brown Stadium in a game which will be pivotal for the AFC North division battle.

Oct 19 Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis IN (65,000)

Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 – 0
Indianapolis 3 7 7 10 – 27

Passing: Andrew Luck (IND), 344 yds, 2 TD’s
Rushing: Trent Richardson (IND), 14 car, 77 yds
Receiving: TY Hilton (IND), 7 rec, 107 yds
Pigskin Almanac “WKRP in Cincinnati Dr Fever” award: Indianapolis Colts defense

Comments

  1. It’s okay, Declan. My G-Men laid an egg last week and your Bengals are far superior to us. Just ride out the sleepless nights this week and it will change again next week.

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