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Are the Bengals and Colts in opposite directions?

I don't often preview upcoming games. It's simple, really. The gods at ESPN, FoxSports, Sportsline, NFL.com, NFL Network and Cops do it far better than I. In a way, I can only react because my meteorology license was taken away from me -- there's just something about Ohio. But the Colts are hosting the Bengals on Monday Night Football. Last year, the Colts/Bengals was a thrilling game. It only made sense that God made this a Monday Night game so Joe Theismann can get excited with two of the best pure passers in the league. I wouldn't be surprised if Theismann goes up an octave on every completed pass.

TONY: Joe, put your pants back on!

Are the Bengals playing the Colts at the right time?

The Colts have lost several players for the season -- the most recent, Brandon Stokley. Stampede Blue isn't too concerned about the loss simply because he's been out most of the season and hasn't made one bit of a difference anyway.

What about Bob Sanders?

"I think the Colts should IR him. If a player cannot play back-to-back games, that tells me he is probably not going to play again this year. If the Colts get Sanders back, great! I'm happy. However, he hasn't played back-to-back games since early September. That's not a good sign."

Here's the difference between the Bengals and Colts right now.

The Colts started off strong and now there's questions. They are starting to accumulate injuries ranging from nagging to season-ending -- some nagging injuries have lasted all season. Early in the season, the Bengals had questions and injuries pound them -- like the Colts now. Injuries completely changed the offensive line -- only Willie Anderson and Eric Steinbach have started every game. Injuries and suspensions made it difficult to get the big-three receivers (Chad, T.J., Henry) on the field early in the season. The defense lost the entire starting linebacker group and Deltha O'Neal and Dexter Jackson have missed time.

Now the Bengals are getting healthier by the week. They are riding a four-game winning streak enabled by a great defensive effort.

I'm not going to say that Colts fans (i.e. Brad) are in the dumps. But their typical optimistic views have taken a beating...

"Yes, health is a major issue. Both starting safeties, both backup safeties, and the cornerback they were using at safety are all hurt. That is not good. In fact, if you really think about it, it is freakish. Still, this does not excuse the horrendous tackling and effort from players like Cato June.

Maybe we'll see some changes. Right now, ANY change would be welcome."

[Stampede Blue]