Bengals vs Colts: Defense carries first half action in Week 4

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 31: Tony McRae #29 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after an interception in the first half of a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 31: Tony McRae #29 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after an interception in the first half of a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals traveled to Indianapolis for a Week 4 showdown with the Colts. The first half action was cautious and eye-opening.

The Bengals traveled to Indianapolis for preseason game number four. On the first drive of the game, Cincinnati’s offense looked crisp and ready to move. But, once again, the turnover bug reared its ugly head and things went south fast. On the fifth play of the drive, LeVonte Whitfield fumbled. The Colts’ Jeremiah George recovered and Indy was set up at the Bengals 40-yard line.

With a short field in front of them, it was sure to be a quick score for the Colts. Indianapolis proceeded to go on a 10-play drive that didn’t produce a single point. The Bengals defense played stout every down and overcame a couple of penalties by DeShawn Williams to make Indy turn it over on downs.

The highlight of the Bengals defensive stop was the rookie Jordan Willis, He continues to prove that he’s going to make some noise in the regular season. His speed helped him bolt around end and sack Scott Tolzien for an 8-yard loss. But, that’s when Williams contributed his unnecessary roughness penalty.

Looking Better Than Expected 

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For a contest played with wholesale changes and rookies trying to impress, the first half action wasn’t a yawner. Yet. it was the kind of game that screams caution by coaches. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has the troops on the same page. It isn’t worth getting insane over, but the consistent defensive pressure was refreshing. Once again, the bulk of players on the field are youngsters trying to make the cut or look good for other teams.

Speaking of John Ross (yes you were), he was able to get a few touches to get into the flow of NFL action. He ended his night with 31 total yards. The Bengals are going to get the ball to him any way possible. He gained 25 yards on a reverse that caught the Colts off guard.

The running game was more than sound, without the big names. Jarveon Williams may be a prime candidate for the Bengals practice squad (you’re welcome). He finished the half with 61 yards on 12 carries and displayed some nifty moves on his longer runs. You can never have too many backs with good vision and balance.

End Summary

The Bengals were able to get out of the first 30 minutes with a couple of injuries. Jeff Driskel was tackled hard and came down on the thumb of his throwing hand. Ross was taken out with an undisclosed knee injury.

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If you need a reason to shorten the preseason, the Bengals have two. Losing Ross would be a big blow. Especially in a game that holds no merit.

Hopefully, the injuries are just tweaks and both were taken out for precautionary measures. At the end of the first half, the Bengals held a 6-0 lead on field goals from Randy Bullock and Jake Elliott.

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