Bengals’ defense must take advantage of a fading Philip Rivers in week six

The Bengals’ defense is playing well lately, and this week’s matchup against a sputtering Colts offense led by Philip Rivers means that should continue.

There isn’t much good to take away from the Cincinnati Bengals’ most recent loss, a 27-3 whipping in Baltimore on Sunday. However, the defense, led by young playmakers, put in an admirable effort.

When the damage was done, the Ravens put up 27 points, but that included a defensive touchdown. So, Lou Anarumo’s unit was directly responsible for giving up only 20 points.

When facing a Lamar Jackson led offense that has put up 30-plus points three times this year and averaged over 31 points per game last year, only surrendering 20 points on defense is a great outing.

A floundering Philip Rivers opens the door for the Bengals

As the focus for Cincinnati shifts to Indianapolis this week, the Bengals face an offense with nowhere near the firepower or track record of Baltimore. Despite a 3-2 team record, Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has been subpar this year.

The 38-year-old was brought over on a one year deal this offseason. So far, he has more interceptions than touchdown passes. When that statistic is added to a quarterback rating barely over 60, it sure looks like father time has caught up to Rivers sooner than the Colts had hoped.

To a certain degree, when the quarterback struggles like that, the entire offense follows. In a year where scoring is at an all-time high, Indianapolis has scored more than 25 points against only the hapless Jets this year.

The Colts seem like a good matchup for the Bengals’ defense to keep building positive momentum. If that turns out to be true, Cincinnati’s ability to pull an upset will hinge on Joe Burrow’s ability to get some kind of offensive production going despite continually abysmal offensive line play. To his credit, Burrow has been able to do that. The only exception was last Sunday. Thus, the Bengals wouldn’t mind such a scenario.

The Bengals are an underdog by over a touchdown. However, this week’s matchup is far more favorable than that point spread or Cincinnati’s performance on Sunday suggests.

Next: Bengals: Despite loss, young defenders flash potential