Week 6 Preview: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Coltsby Sam Schneider October 17, 2020 1 comment
The Cincinnati Bengals (1-3-1) will have a short trip in Week 6, traveling to neighboring Indiana to face off with the Indianapolis Colts (3-2) on Sunday. The Bengals are trying to get back on track against arguably the best defense in the NFL. Indianapolis is hoping for a big bounce-back after a loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Joe Burrow and company will have tough sledding against a Colts team that is ranked first in the NFL in interceptions, total passing yards and total touchdowns allowed. Cincinnati will be trying to get Joe Mixon (497 yards from scrimmage, three touchdowns) going early in order to take some pressure off the first-year signal caller.
Zac Taylor would be wise to call for the mid-range throws in the passing game, as Indianapolis is not typically prone to giving up the big play. With that said, the presence of Kenny Moore covering slot man Tyler Boyd means the Bengals will have to game plan for rookie Tee Higgins and veteran A.J. Green often.
For the Colts, they will continue to rely on the ground-and-pound rushing attack featuring rookie Jonathan Taylor. He has already amassed 414 total yards and three trips to paydirt despite playing limited snaps back in Week 1. Nyheim Hines already has 22 catches on the season out of the backfield and will look to find the edge on passing downs.
Philip Rivers has completed nearly 71 percent of his passes for just over 1,200 yards. He has hurled touchdown throws on four occasions but has also been picked off five times. An underrated Bengals secondary will be watching for errant throws in to flip the field position. With Mo Alie-Cox (knee) out on Sunday, tight end Trey Burton stands to get a lot of attention in the middle of the field.
As stated previously, the Cincinnati secondary has the ability to make Rivers pay for any mistakes, however they could be significantly undermanned if both Mackensie Alexander (hamstring) and Darius Phillips (shoulder) can’t suit up. Rookie Logan Wilson has nabbed two interceptions in his last two games from the linebacker position.
The fear for the Bengals lies primarily against the run. They have lost their biggest run-stopper in offseason acquisition D.J. Reader for the year, and depth signee Mike Daniels is on the injured reserve. That leaves the pitch-count limited All-Pro Geno Atkins (shoulder) and a revolving door of additional defensive tackles to pick up the slack and try to stop Taylor.
Indianapolis has a lock-down secondary, and their front line has logged 11 sacks so far this season. That is not an intimidating number, but the Baltimore Ravens provided a good road map against the Bengals last week. They stood tough against the run and blitzed often. Cincinnati has allowed 22 sacks this season and if the Colts bring the heat, it will be another long day for Burrow.
In addition to the categories in which the Colts rank first, they also rank second in total yards allowed per game. They have given up just one rushing touchdown on the season and a total of 88 points to opposing teams in five games. They are particularly strong in Indianapolis, where they have given up just 18 points in two contests.
Date: October 18, 2020
Start Time: 1:00 P.M. est
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium
TV Info: FOX
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: CIN +7.5 (-110) | IND -7.5 (-110)
Moneyline: CIN +305 | IND -405
Over/Under: O 46.5 (-110) | U 46.5 (-110)
The Moneyline for Indianapolis is a slam-dunk but at -405, that is an awful lot to wager for little payoff in case something goes wrong. The total is best avoided, too. These two teams have the capability of scoring big or completely being shut down on any given Sunday. The spread is too low; the Colts’ defense alone makes this a win of over 7.5. Take Indy minus the points with confidence.
Cincinnati may come out on the attack on their first possession, but the Colts’ defensive adjustments ruin any game plan that the Bengals entered with. The combination of Taylor and Hines out of the backfield of Indianapolis wears down the visitors and Rivers has a well-rounded game. Cincinnati makes a charge in the fourth quarter to keep it close, only to be foiled by a Moore interception. After that, Indy plays keep away and coasts to a win.
Final Score: Cincinnati 16, Indianapolis 30
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