For the third time in five years, the Cincinnati Bengals will play four away games within the first six weeks of a regular season. The last time it happened was just last year, and since the Bengals didn’t win a game until Week 13 of last season, you know that they were 0-4 in those first four road matchups.
The Bengals are currently winless away from Paul Brown Stadium to start this season as well, and a tie against the lowly Philadelphia Eagles isn’t much of a boost to it all. Standing in the way of their first road win are the 3-2 Indianapolis Colts.
Both of these teams are coming off a loss against an AFC North opponent. We’ve covered the Bengals getting thrashed by the Baltimore Ravens to death this week, so there’s no need to rehash wounds that aren’t so old.
After that game concluded in Baltimore, the Colts threw everything they had at the Cleveland Browns’ offense but fell nine points short in a 32-23 defeat. A winning record in the middle of October is commendable, but to say they’re in a peculiar spot is an understatement.
The Colts possess one of, if not the best defense in the entire league right now. They traded for an unheralded star in defensive tackle DeForest Buckner this offseason and are reaping the benefits of that deal. Everyone around Buckner is playing sound defensive football and is keeping the franchise competitive every week.
Yet, as they are eye a playoff spot and quite possibly an AFC South crown, a possible Philip Rivers downfall may be beginning. Rivers has played like one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL for the last two weeks after he started the season relatively well. For them to consistently capitalize on their stout defense, Rivers just needs to not implode. Unfortunately for him, he’ll be facing a Bengals defense that’s quietly rising up the ranks after an impressive outing against Lamar Jackson’s Ravens.
On that note, the Bengals’ defense just can’t stay healthy. D.J. Reader and Sam Hubbard were both placed on I.R. this week, leaving their battered defensive line to face one of the best all-around offensive lines in the game right now.
Who comes out on top in the battle of I-74? Follow this stream for all news, updates, and analysis regarding the Bengals and Colts’ Week 6 matchup.