The Mike Zimmer led defense is going to dictate the flow of the game. The Colts lost their best receiver Reggie Wayne to a season ending torn ACL, and quarterback Andrew Luck has been taken down to the turf a lot lately and the running game has been more Donald Brown than Trent Richardson, which the Browns have won on that trade deal. The defense must contain Brown, because he’s been solid lately.
The defense did a great job containing Phillip Rivers last week, who came in to the game red-hot. They created turnovers and rattle him in the pocket, which is the credit to Zimmer’s great game plan. In this game, Luck can move around the pocket he’s a big guy, when he escapes pressure from the pocket he can move and won’t slide like other quarterbacks would do, so it’s key the Bengals contain him.
The offense is up and down. Quarterback Andy Dalton needs to spread the ball more, when he does that it’s view as “Good Andy”. He’s got AJ Green to throw to, but other receivers must step up. The interceptions have been up, and the one he threw last week was so horrible I threw the remote into the TV that’s “Bad Andy”. The pressure got to him in that throw, the Colts got a guy in defensive end Robert Mathis, who leads the league in sacks. Protection and smart football is what I’m going to be watching for.
The running game is going to be the key in this game with BenJarvus Green-Eills and Giovani Bernard. The Colts run defense isn’t the best in the world and you can run on them. If they can carry over the success they had on the ground in San Diego last week, it will take the load off of Dalton, with the snow and ice expected in the forecast tomorrow, the running game and defense will decide the game.
PREDICTION: Bengals 20, Colts 13 Both teams have a lot on the line in this game. This “Bengal Weather” we are expecting as Head Coach Marvin Lewis referred to this week favors them. Luck hasn’t played in these conditions we are expecting to have. The defense plays lights out at home. The keys are efficient running game, no turnovers by Dalton, protect the ball, contain Luck and the running game, and protect the quarterback. You do all of that you will grab hold of the No. 3 seed and clinch another winning season.