After failing to bring home the AFC North Title for the second consecutive season the Cincinnati Bengals still managed to make it into the playoffs for the fourth time under head coach Marvin Lewis. This time they have to travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts and rising star quarterback Andrew Luck.
Both of these ball clubs are very similar to each other, one week they can look like perennial Super Bowl contenders and the next week they play like they are tanking for the number one pick in 2015 NFL Draft. However I must say that the Bengals have turned the corner in the last few games. Even though they lost the game against the Steelers, I think we saw a different type of Bengals team.
We all saw how the Bengals defense handled Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Monday Night Football, I expect that type of play to continue against Manning’s replacement in Indy Andrew Luck. In years past the Bengals would have folded up the tent and got ready for the next game if they were playing a Super Bowl contender such as the Broncos especially on prime time television.
The Bengals opponent the Indianapolis Colts have made the postseason three consecutive seasons during the post Manning Era, however they have yet to take that next step in the playoffs such as playing in conference title games like Manning did. The Colts biggest problem this season is their defense, if their offense is not clicking on all cylinders Colts fans can forget about it.
Unlike last year when the Colts mounted that huge come from behind victory due to the fact that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid continue to throw the football when the Chiefs had the huge lead in the second half, expect Marvin Lewis to be conservative and run the football consistently with Jeremy Hill if it had to come down to that.
My prediction for this ball game is that the Bengals will pull off the upset victory this Sunday and take the next step in becoming a perennial power in the AFC. “There’s a first time for everything” and this Sunday that saying will apply to the Bengals.
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