The Colts rushed for under 3.5 YPC, Peyton completed only 55.6% of his passes for a mere 5.1 yards per attempt, Indy started 6 of their first 8 drives at or inside their own 20 and the Bengals outgained the Colts 359 to 261.
Despite all that Indy won by 6 thanks to picking Palmer off 3 times and recovering fumbles by Benson and Gresham while committing no turnovers themselves.
Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph's skills were on full display as neither Reggie Wayne nor Pierre Garçon broke 40 yards receiving. Leaving Jacob Tamme and Brandon James as Peyton's main targets. The Bengals very lackluster pass rush brought Peyton down twice and applied pressure regularly.
The game was tight late thanks to a combination of soft zone, a terrible ST gaffe by Garçon combined with a horrible unchangeable ruling and Indy being unable to pick up a 1st with 3 straight runs. The D stepped up to save the game stripping the ball away from Jermaine Gresham and recording back to back sacks on Carson Palmer.
A rough offensive day by Indy's skeleton crew was saved by the defense.
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The Colts caught a break already this week with the Ravens' loss on Thursday night. If Indy can beat the Bengals, they'll be no worse than a game out of the top spot in the conference and still in first place in the South.
Here's who to root for this weekend:
Dolphins Vs Titans
Browns Vs Jets
The Titans are tied with the Colts for the top slot in the South, we want them to go down. The Jets are a game ahead of Indy, so a loss by them would elevate the Colts into a tie for the second spot in the AFC.
Jaguars vs Texans
Both teams are 4-4, so you could argue that it doesn't matter who wins. This is true, but I think the Texans are the better team by a lot. I'm rooting for the Jags.
Broncos Vs Chiefs
Maybe we should be rooting for the Chiefs so as to keep San Diego out of the playoffs, but I'd most rather see Oakland in that slot (hurts the Pats). I'll field arguments that we should be pulling for KC, but I'll feel better about it when they are behind the Colts in record and not tied with them (yes, I know Indy has the tiebreaker).
Patriots vs Steelers
My double reasoning is that Indy plays New England, and can make up the game they trail the Pats, and I think Pittsburgh is better. Frankly, I don't think the Pats win this game or the next one against the Colts. I think they are headed for a 10-6 record at best, and if they fall hard to 9-7, I won't be shocked.
18 Things to Watch for in Sunday's Colts-Bengals game
This class would do Chad Johnson some good.
Last week, the Colts suffered one of the most painful losses in their history, but there's no time to sit and mourn. The banged up Colts have to jump right back into action against their nearest geographical rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals. As the Colts and Bengals hook up in the Luke on Sunday be on the watch for:
1. Watch for the trap. For years now, the Colts have taken care of business against losing teams. They robotically take one week at a time, refusing to look ahead to the future. They'll need that focus this week, because with the Pats and Chargers looming, Indy can't afford to take the slumping Bengals lightly. Cincy is not a good football team, but they play lots of hard, close games. They'll be tired coming off a physical loss to the Steelers on Monday night, so the Colts ought to be able to put their foot down. Well coached team don't lose trap games.
- Bengals have just 7 sacks all season.
- The Bengals are on pace to be just the 3rd team in the last 25 years to record less than 15 sacks in a season.
- They have only 1 sack in the last month (3 games+bye).
- 3 of their 7 sacks were in one game against Tampa.
- Tampa was their only multi-sack game.
- They have gone without a sack in 3 of their 8 games.
- The only pass rush category the Bengals lead the league in is "Coolest named DE" thanks to Frostee Rucker
- The Bengals average a sack for every 40 dropbacks
- The Bengals only have 3 sacks from their defensive line.
- Their only player with more than 1 sack is FS Chris Crocker.
LEAVE THE BENGALS PASS RUSH ALONE! LEAVE THEM ALOOONNNEEEE!!!!!!!!!
This is more of a link than an article, but it's fairly important, so I want to be sure everyone sees it.
AOL Fanhouse ranked QBs by the amount of time they had to throw on plays where they were sacked. We've pointed out some time now, that sack rate is dependent on the quarterback, but individual sacks often fall on the line. This study illustrates that. Peyton Manning has been sacked 10 times on the year. That's first in the NFL in sack rate. Manning goes down fewer times per attempt than any QB in the league. The fact that he doesn't get sacked often says more about him than it does his protection.
What this study shows is that when he does go down, it's because of his line. Manning had the shortest average time to throw on his sacks. On Manning's 10 sacks, he went down in an average of 2.5 seconds. In other words, when Manning does take a sack, it's not because of coverage or because he's hanging on to the ball too long. Peyton Manning typically only gets sacked if somone on his line (paging Charlie Johnson!) misses a block.
Tip to FO
Kasey Klipsch checks in with his weekly column
I watched this game on a bar in Portland, Oregon. When I started watching I was the only one watching this game (the rest were watching KC v Oak). By the time the game was over, everyone was watching and cheering for Vick (except me of course). I can’t blame them. Vick played a great game. My memory says I spent half the game shaking my head in frustration at Vick’s play. I picked a drive that epitomized this frustration.
Play starts at 11:58 in the 1st QTR. The Colts had just scored to make the score 13-7 Philly. The Eagles try a trick kick-off return which McAfee makes the tackle and causes a fumble. The Colts fail to get the ball before it goes out of bounds.no comments
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Charting a Drive will be up in the morning. Look for Eyes in the Backfield to go up later on Friday.