Bengals News

Bengals vs Colts: Some issues to watch for in Week 8

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 31: Alex Erickson #12 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs for yardage after a reception against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of a preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 31: Alex Erickson #12 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs for yardage after a reception against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of a preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Week 8 puts the Bengals in another bounce-back situation. The Indianapolis Colts come into Paul Brown Stadium struggling on defense.

Week 8 is upon the NFL nation and the halfway point has many stories to tell. The Cincinnati Bengals will be facing the Indianapolis Colts in a game which–on the surface–looks like a battle for W number 3. But, it actually goes deeper for the home team. The Bengals are looking to turn things around, after a horrendous showing against the Steelers in Week 7. That was a game most fans thought would go the Bengals’ way, after having a Bye Week to prepare.

The stakes are a bit higher for the Bengals. Since starting the 2017 campaign with three-straight losses, they’ve gone 2-1. But, in the aftermath of losing to divisional foe Pittsburgh, the joy in that accomplishment has faded.

Sunday’s matchup may seem like a chance to blow out the Andrew Luck-less Colts. But there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. During the game, there has to be a concerted effort to right the wrongs that seemed to have the Bengals going in reverse. Here’s a look at a few problems that should be “adjusted.”

The Ground Attack 

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This has been an ongoing issue since 2014. In three year’s time, something should have been done about the lack of a rushing offense in the Queen City.

Since Jeremy Hill broke the century mark, he’s sniffed 1,000 yards each year after. But, injuries played a big part in what he was able to do. Who were the last Bengals rushers to consistently hit four figures? Glad you asked. James Brooks (1986-’90), Corey Dillon (1997-’02), Rudi Johnson (2004-’06) and Cedric Benson (2009-’11) all had multiple years.

Cincinnati’s offense is loaded with potential breakout backs. Joe Mixon was drafted to be the running back of the future. But, according to Marvin Lewis, it’s not his time. He’s…immature. Giovani Bernard is a speedy, shifty back who can turn on the afterburners. But, it seems like he’s been lost in the sauce.

The AFC North demands a back that is able to hit the holes or create on a dime. Bill Lazor needs to find his diamond and stick with him. Once again, the Bengals will be facing a team which struggles against the run. Overall, the Colts are ranked at No. 31 in the league. If the Bengals can’t find running room against them, something is definitely wrong.

Defensive Attitude

The Bengals seemed to lack the fire and intensity that had become the earmark for the defense. After a week off, Lewis and Paul Guenther had time to put the fear of the football gods and disdain of all things Pittsburgh in them. It didn’t show. They were pushed around and bullied for 152 rushing yards. Additionally, they registered “zero” sacks on one of the slowest QBs in the league.

The questions now become ones of concern. Was it Pittsburgh’s offensive line doing a great job, a lack of preparation…or is the defense overhyped?

Next: Problems, Problems

Vontaze Burfict was literally taken out of the game and wasn’t a factor. This will be a chance for the defense to iron out what ails them and get on track for the three-game road trip.

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