Cincinnati Bengals Get Third Shot At Colts


Oct 19, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) shake hands after the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts defeated the Bengals 27-0. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

There are not many season where you will see a non-divisional team twice let alone a third time in all stages of a NFL season. That is exactly what will happen on Sunday when the Bengals head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. We take a look back at the first two meetings from the 2014 preseason and season.

The Bengals faced the Colts in Cincinnati during week four of the preseason and won 35 to 7, in a game that meant the better part of nothing. It was a game of backups and depth. The plus side is that it showed the Bengals strength in their depth, something that has been needed, and something to look forward to since Jeremy Hill was the featured back in that game and ran all over the depth of the Colts going for 80 yards on the ground.

The second game was in Indianapolis during the regular season in week seven. We didn’t see much of the run game since the Bengals played from behind for much of the game but Giovani Bernard was on pace to play the feature back in week seven. The Colts controlled the Bengals passing game, going just 18 for 38 for 126 yards. The Bengals failed to score even after the defense had held the Colts to only 10 first half points. The Colts won the regular season matchup 27 to 0.

Those two games mean little now though. The Bengals will head into Indianapolis with a clean slate. Marvin Lewis stated it best in his Monday press conference, “It’s a whole new season,” and he is right. It no longer matters what you did in the regular season, you win and you see the dawn of another week of football, but lose and you clean out your locker.

The Bengals will need to be better than they were in week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They will need to show that week 16 was not just an injured Peyton Manning having a terrible game.  It will take much more than a 47.3% completion rate and just 40 yards on the ground. It will be about first downs, converting third and short yardage, and forcing mistakes. It will be about earning points and forcing them to earn every yard.

The Bengals must play with attitude, like someone with something to prove and play with a chip on their shoulder. If they can do that, week seven will just be a bad day without a star receive. This team could be prime to win their first game in 23 years but they must be better than just the every day “Bungals.”