Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Sunday will give us a showdown of two of the more interesting and surprising teams in the when the Indianapolis Colts travel to Ohio to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Before was hurt, this game was likely looked at as an easy win for the Colts. Now, Manning is out, the Bengals are 3-2 and dark horse playoff contenders.

The Bengals will look to win their third game in a row on Sunday, while the Colts are still looking for the first win of the season.

Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

When: Sunday, October 16 at 1 p.m. EDT

Watch: CBS

Over/Under

Bodog lists the over/under at 41. That is not a high total by any means, but I am going to go with the under here. I am just not sure about either offense in this one.

I wouldn’t be surprised with an over, but I would advise you to go under if you must bet on this one.

Spread

Bodog lists the Bengals as seven-point favorites. This is probably not the best game to be betting on. Cincinnati is 3-2, but has been far from dominant. Indianapolis is 0-5, but has kept games close. Still, if you must bet on this one, go with the Bengals to cover.

Key Injuries

Colts QB Peyton Manning (neck) is out.

Colts QB Kerry Collins (concussion), TE Brody Eldridge (knee), DE Robert Mathis (not injury related), DT Drake Nevis, and CB Jerraud Powers (hamstring) are questionable.

Colts DE Dwight Freeney (not injury related), and WR Reggie Wayne (not injury related) are probable.

Bengals LB Rey Mauluga is out.

Bengals WR Ryan Whalen (hamstring) is doubtful.

Bengals CB Kelly Jennings (hamstring), and LB Dontay Moch (foot) are questionable.

Bengals S Chris Crocker (knee), TE Donald Lee (groin), and RB Brian Leonard (groin) are doubtful.

Fantasy Big Plays

Bengals QB Andy Dalton is a strong play. I like him, but I like Bengals’ WR A.J. Green more.

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Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Also, the Bengals’ defense is a good play. While we’re on the subject, the Colts’ defense is not a bad play either.

Keys to Colts Win

The Colts have to get pressure on Andy Dalton. Without that, they have absolutely no chance at beating the Bengals.

Keys to Bengals Win

Don’t turn the ball over. If the Bengals make the Colts drive the length of the field, they will win handily.

Prediction

Until the Colts win without Peyton Manning, I can’t predict that they will win. The Bengals are a surprising team and will continue winning on Sunday.

Bengals 23, Colts 10

2011 NFL Predictions: Indianapolis Colts Reign in AFC South Is over


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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

For the last nine seasons, the Indianapolis Colts have dominated the AFC South. In 2011, that domination is over.

This shift in the balance of power has less to do with the Colts slipping as a franchise and more to do with their rivals in the division getting better. There is some of the former in the equation, though.

There has to be concern over Peyton Manning’s neck surgery. He waited so long to have the procedure because he wanted to be under the care of the team’s doctors. That’s understandable, but it puts him well behind the eight ball for getting ready for the season.

There are also lingering worries over other parts of the Colts roster. The defense has two star pass rushers in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, but the secondary is suspect.

There’s also lingering questions about the running game. Joseph Addai is up and down more than a seesaw and Donald Brown has yet to break out.

The Houston Texans will be more than glad to fill the void left by the Colts at the top of the division.

Given their history of coming up short when much is expected of them, it’s tough to get on board with them as contenders.

The offense is already championship caliber. Matt Schaub is among the most prolific quarterbacks in the league and Andre Johnson is the best receiver in football. That’s to say nothing of Arian Foster, who led the league in rushing last season.

Most importantly for the Texans success, they finally have some direction on the defensive side of the ball. Wade Phillips has been brought in to instill his version of the 3-4 defense and he has done a good job of helping general manager Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak find the talent that best fits what he is trying to do.

Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning will start right away in the secondary. Recent draftee J.J. Watt will hold down defensive end and allow Mario Williams to move back to outside linebacker. This way, Phillips can bring Williams on blitzes from any number of different places.

The Texans defense will be a different group thanks to Phillips and the new additions. The change will be big enough to vault the Texans up the AFC South ranks, leaving the Indianapolis Colts in their dust.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Indianapolis Colts Find Peyton Manning Another Weapon


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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts addressed their three biggest needs with their first three selections, at offensive tackle, guard and nose tackle.

In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Colts could either address defensive end, depending on what Jerry Hughes does, or try to find a receiver to succeed Reggie Wayne, who’s now 33 years old and will be a free agent in 2012.

Right now, Texas AM receiver Jeff Fuller looks to be a legitimate first-rounder. While I don’t see him completely filling Wayne’s shoes (few would be able to), I do think he could be a No. 2 option and, alongside the emerging Pierre Garcon, he could help Peyton Manning as an additional weapon.

Fuller broke out with the Aggies in 2010, catching 72 balls for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has size at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, nice hands and big-time playmaking ability.

And it’s not like Fuller’s previous two season were shabby either. As a freshman, he had 630 yards and nine touchdowns and as a sophomore he had seven touchdowns.

Even when his yardage wasn’t there his first couple of seasons, he showed he could make the big catch.

In 2010, he also excelled against some top competition. Against Oklahoma State, he caught eight balls for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Against Arkansas, he had eight catches for 154 yards and a TD. Against Texas Tech, he exploded for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

Even against top 2011 corner prospect Patrick Peterson of LSU in the Cotton Bowl, Fuller notched seven catches for 83 yards.

Fuller could be a nice addition to the Colts’ receiving corps, and with Wayne likely out of town come 2012, the team is going to have to start finding top talents at wideout sooner or later.

Manning can only do so much with limited resources.

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