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MrCincinnati

Week 1 Bengals @ Colts

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Just wanted to get this started now before someone else beats me to it.

GAMEDAY INFO

The Bengals play the Colts at 1 PM ET on CBS. TV Maps will be updated on Wednesday, so check out the link later.
http://506sports.com/nfl.php?yr=2018&wk=1

HISTORY

Bengals are 3-8 when playing the Colts at Indianapolis, and have lost the last 8 matchups in Indianapolis

Last matchup: 2017, Bengals win 24-23 in Cincinnati
Last Colts win: 2015 Playoffs, Colts win 26-10 in Indianapolis
Last win in Indianapolis: 1997 Bengals win 28-13

5 KEYS TO VICTORY

5. Dalton and Ross - If your looking for individual players that need to step up in 2018, these two will be near the top of the list. Andy Dalton seems to always be in that category every year because of obvious reasons, but now he's in his 30's and with 2 years left on his contract its do or die for him right now. He may still lack the help of a good OL at the moment, but the great QB's learn to step up in these situations and if he demands lots of money on the market, he could be playing his last years with the Bengals if he doesn't ball out like he did in the preseason. John Ross has also preformed well in the preseason, but when it comes down to 1st round picks they need to be difference makers immediately otherwise your deemed a bust. My assumption is Ross will still be behind Boyd for now, so the best thing he can do is make his moments count if he wants to get more targets down the road. If both guys here can play well this game, it will make it much easier, since they know AJ Green will of course do his part as well.

4. Clean slate for the OL - What, you thought I would put the offensive line at #1? Because of how low the expectations were going into the season on the offensive line, all I can say is I was very impressed with this group during the preseason. Most of us thought the pass blocking would be the problem, but its actually been the strength, and the run blocking is the major concern instead. Guys like Cordy Glenn and Clint Boling will anchor the OL, just as long as they stay healthy, and Billy Price will more than likely take many lumps this season but the payoff will be worth it down the road. The bigger concerns will remain at RG and RT to start the season. Bobby Hart whom hasn't been impressive is a sure bet to start at RT now, and while RG is not official yet it looks like Trey Hopkins will start. Most fans want Christian Westerman to start instead since he's played so well, but for whatever reason Marvin Lewis and Frank Pollack don't see it that way. So therefore guys like Westerman, Fisher, and Redmond will wait in the wings in hopes to get there chance to start down the road, but for now this is the starting lineup, and I think its safe to say they perform better than last year at least in the pass blocking. The run blocking must step up or Joe Mixon will suffer from it.

3. Pummel Andrew Luck - This one is very obvious, because the Bengals DL is the biggest strength of this team. Andrew Luck is playing his first game since 2016 but has looked ok in the preseason going 20-32 for 204 yards with both a TD and INT. It was only preseason, but clearly he was still a bit rusty since he did a lot of short passes, so the Bengals need to use that to there advantage. The biggest thing though is for this DL to get some hits on Luck to make his job much harder since he is coming off an injury. Guys like Dunlap, Atkins, Lawson, Willis, Hubbard, Billings, and Glasgow all played well in the preseason and will get there chance to shine. Michael Johnson was cut only to be resigned the next day though, so the assumption is he will still start over Lawson and Willis, but the hope is he gets less snaps when its all said and done. If the DL can't accomplish this task though, its going to be extremely hard for them to win this game.

2. Burfictless defense - As we already know Vontaze Burfict is suspended once again to start the season and it didn't go well last year when they started out 0-3 without him, and were 1-5 overall when he didn't play so he is a difference maker despite his reputation. Right now the leadership role for the LB's falls on Preston Brown who is best known for eating up snaps, so you can count on him to be on the field a lot as a fulltime player and should be a relightable difference maker. After that its guys like Nick Vigil and Jordan Evans at the other 2 LB spots, with the possibility of Vincent Rey in the mix because of his starting history. Vigil another guy who would eat up snaps last year, although he didn't perform well when its all said and done so now he has to show he can take another step in his career. Evans whom is getting an opportunity to start because of Burfict appears to be the more promising one as he played well in the preseason this year and will look to get much more snaps compared to his meager amount last year. Of course both Vigil and Evans will probably split time at LB since they are a nickel defense, and if they stay true to using 4 guys on the DL line. Speaking off.....

1. Scheme and culture change - A big question I have going into this season is how much different is the coaching staff compared to the previous year, and will it be for the better? The best thing I'm looking forward to is former and new DC Teryl Austin whom in the past few years has been a name that could of been a head coach candidate but never got the opportunity. I'm not sure what type of defensive scheme he will use since his 4 years with the Lions he kind of used different ones, but since he primarily a DB guy, its probably going to be a nickel defense with 4 DL and 2 LB's. Also now we will see if he was an upgrade or downgrade from Guenther. On the other side is Bill Lazor returning who stepped in early after Zampese was fired, but last month I mistakenly stated they used his playbook last year which he did not, so now this year its pretty much a 1st year for him again. He was at one point the OC for the Dolphins for almost 2 years, but was fired during the 2015, but looking at 2014 he appeared to like using 3 WR's, so expect lots of passing since the running game is a big question. But the biggest problem and question with the team is Marvin Lewis who refuses to go away despite being here year after year after year, but I have to ask myself if this year will be a different Marvin Lewis based on the fact that last year was the closest we almost seen him gone, or will it be more of the same if he keeps this team treading water and Mike Brown remains to be happy with just reaching the quota.

PREDICTION

I was kind of on the fence with this one, but was very surprised with some of you guys thinking the Bengals will win this game easy. The last 2 years the Bengals haven't blown out any teams on the road not named the Cleveland Browns, so right there I think this one will be close. If the Bengals decide to shoot themselves in the foot this game it could a long game and a blowout loss to the Colts will not look good for this team. On paper it seems like the Bengals have better things going for them right now, but my gut tells me its going to be a close one because of my doubts on the run blocking and for some reason I think Frank Reich will find a way to outcoach Marvin for most of the game. I think the Bengals will be losing during most of the game, but tie it up in the 4th QRT and then eventually kick the game winning FG.

Bengals 20 Colts 17

 

"EXPERT PICKS"

johndeere1707: Bengals 24-7
INbengalfan: Bengals 34-10
theJ: Bengals 16-6
THE DUKE: Bengals 31-17
TheVillian112: Bengals 31-20
MrCincinnati: Bengals 20-17

Edited by MrCincinnati

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This is one of those games where you would like to see the Bengals run at will vs that defense. Hopefully this game can propel us to a good start. 

 

CIN- 24

IND- 7

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Things I'd like to see

  • Andrew luck on his back all day. 
  • Ty Hilton spending all game with his new buddy WJIII

 

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4 minutes ago, theJ said:

Things I'd like to see

  • Andrew luck on his back all day. 
  • Ty Hilton spending all game with his new buddy WJIII

 

I'd add that I'd like to see them actually win in Indy.  They lose every time I've been (most recently the no LB/WR wild card game).

 

I'd like to limit the running game too, which, according to their fans, shouldn't be too hard.

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We better win this game, or I'm going to be looking towards the 2019 draft already.  This team has a lot of potential but if we can't beat a team like the Colts, then we have no chance against the elite teams.

We all know the Colts will take the underneath and crossing routes against us because we can't defend those to save our life.  Let's see if Austin brings something to the table to defend against that.  Also, our OL probably isn't going to face a weaker DL than the Colts, so they need to show up...

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Updated the OP, and put in my 5 KEYS TO VICTORY

Still no prediction yet though, must continue to troll

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51 minutes ago, MrCincinnati said:

Updated the OP, and put in my 5 KEYS TO VICTORY

Still no prediction yet though, must continue to troll

I'll do it for you.

 

Bengals 34-10

 

Luck is rusty.  As bad as our o-line was with run blocking, the Colts d-line was even worse defending it.  This opens up everything, and the offense scores early and often.  Which means the defense pins its ears back and harrasses Luck all afternoon.  He will get some yards late on check downs when Austin really doesn't care what they do, as long as the clock keeps rolling.

 

Even though the coordinators are  gone, I sense a tighter knit group.  Gone is Paul Alexander, who, when you look back at it, was in some kind of power struggle with Marvin over Mike Brown's ear.  he doubled down on Cerdic and Fisher, convinced Brown we didn't need Whitworth, lost gloriously, and now resides in Dallas.  Unfortunately for him, his top two all Pro linemen are out, and it will expose him to Cowboy fans.

 

Mixon breaks the century mark, Dalton over 300 yrds, Green, Malone and Eifert have recieving TDs, with Mixon getting one on the ground.  Ross open for a bomb, but drops it.  Has several third down conversion catches tho, and everyone soon forgets.

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How are we 3 point underdogs?  The Colts fans surelu=y aren't jumping on this line, and the sharks aren't either

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18 minutes ago, INbengalfan said:

How are we 3 point underdogs?  The Colts fans surelu=y aren't jumping on this line, and the sharks aren't either

I've updated the OP again with my prediction.

I think its going to be close than what you and john will have it as, but a win nonetheless.

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I think it might end up being that typical Bengals game where we have the third quarter lull and they come back a little. But I still think we win in the end 

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Nothing about this Colts team worries me. I think we win pretty convincingly similar to our Oakland opener in 2015.

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On 9/2/2018 at 1:33 PM, MrCincinnati said:

I was kind of on the fence with this one, but was very surprised with some of you guys thinking the Bengals will win this game easy. The last 2 years the Bengals haven't blown out any teams on the road not named the Cleveland Browns, so right there I think this one will be close. If the Bengals decide to shoot themselves in the foot this game it could a long game and a blowout loss to the Colts will not look good for this team. On paper it seems like the Bengals have better things going for them right now, but my gut tells me its going to be a close one because of my doubts on the run blocking and for some reason I think Frank Reich will find a way to outcoach Marvin for most of the game. I think the Bengals will be losing during most of the game, but tie it up in the 4th QRT and then eventually kick the game winning FG.

 

I'm not sure it will be a blowout either, but the potential is there.  The Colts aren't good.  Luck has the ability to keep his team in the game, but he'll likely be rusty.  

This feels like a game where the Bengals control it defensively, do ok on offense, and come away with a 10 point win or so.

I'll call it Bengals 16, Colts 6.  I hope the Bengals can score more than that, but until they prove it, last year's offense has left a bad taste in my mouth.

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14 hours ago, INbengalfan said:

How are we 3 point underdogs?  The Colts fans surelu=y aren't jumping on this line, and the sharks aren't either

I really don't understand this line other than just betting against Marvin Lewis.  I don't blame anyone for that...

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