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Bengals Early Bird Special: Sunday Showdown Against Manning-Less Colts

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Good morning Bengals Nation! Time to rise and shine! You know the drill by now. Grab some coffee (I'm thinking Dunkin' Donuts coffee today) and hurry off to work before everyone notices you aren't there. On Sunday the Bengals face-off against Indianapolis. And we know the Colts are one of three teams who are winless, (Miami and St. Louis are the other two teams for those of you who didn't know.). 

Now, Sunday the Bengals "should" win, but no game is guaranteed. I know the other day I was bashing the Colts, but in all honesty the offense hasn't looked that great without Peyton Manning. And while we're at it, their defense has looked horrendous despite having two of the better defensive ends in Dwight Freeney and Evan Mathis. Those two alone cannot stop an entire offense. It's a group effort.

The Colts solution to replacing Manning was signing Kerry Collins. He wasn't the answer and looked like he should have stayed retired instead of coming back. Collins was then replaced by Curtis Painter who had only thrown 28 passes prior to this season. I'm still not sold on Painter. Sure he has filled-in for Manning and done an adequate job, hell you could even say he has performed at a great level. But he has completed less than 50 percent of his passes and hasn't faced the number one defense in the league. 

As for the Colts defense, they have allowed over 400 yards of offense three weeks in a row. I honestly don't see that streak being snapped this week. But it all depends on which Cedric Benson shows up to Paul Brown Stadium. Will it be the one who ran for over 120 yards against Cleveland or will it be the one we saw last week against Jacksonville? The running game is going to be vital for the Bengals if they intend to come out victorious on Sunday. 

Then again, it always seems as if the Bengals lose games they "should" win. But that was in the Carson Palmer era. Andy Dalton is now the quarterback and so far he has led the Bengals to two come from behind wins, (Bruce Gradkowski led the Bengals to their other comeback win). 

It's going to be a group effort for the Bengals against the Colts. The Bengals "should" win, but they could just as easily lose against the Colts. It all depends on which team shows up.

Alright here is a look at what you may have missed or overlooked from Wednesday.

  • Rey Maualuga credits his development to the recently retired Dhani Jones.
  • Through the first five games of the season the running game has been very inconsistent. According to Cedric Benson, the performance by the running game against Jacksonville "won't happen again."
  • Every team has their strengths and on Sunday the Bengals defense will square-off against the solid group of receivers the Colts have to offer and that makes defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer wary.
  • Check out the injury/practice report for the Bengals and Colts.
  • Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc., presented ten observations between the Bengals and Colts.
  • This offseason the Bengals lost one of their top cornerbacks in Johnathan Joseph and replaced him with veteran Nate Clements. After five games there is a small sample size to compare their seasons.
  • The Bengals offensive and defensive snaps against the Jaguars.
  • The AFC North is filled with the top three defenses with the Bengals ranked number one! 
  • Hurry up and participate in our Caption Contest before it's too late! This should be interesting.
  • The Bengals are off to a solid start this season. By far, they are exceeding expectations of critics. But is it too early to talk about the Bengals and the playoffs?