Cincinnati Bengals (1-3-1) at Indianapolis Colts (3-2)
- Date/Time: Oct. 18th, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EST
- Location: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Series Leader: The Colts lead the series 17-12
- Streak: The Bengals have won the past two meetings
- Coaches vs. Opponent: Zac Taylor: (0-0). Frank Reich (0-1)
- Television: The game will air on FOX-TV. In the Bengals’ home region, it will be carried by WXIX-TV (Ch. 19) in Cincinnati, WGRT-TV (Ch. 45) in Dayton, WDKY-TV (Ch. 56) in Lexington, and WTTE-TV (Ch. 28) in Columbus.
- Broadcasters Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman and Laura Okmin.
- Online Stream: Watch the game online with a free trial of fuboTV
- Replay: NFL Game Pass
- Radio Broadcast: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).
- Rosters: Bengals | Colts
- SB Nation Colts’ site: Stampede Blue
- Weather: Mid 50’s, dangerously windy but they will play in a dome [NFL weather]
- Odds: Bengals, +8 [Odds Shark]
The Bengals’ offense and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow had a very forgettable game in Week 5. Just a week prior they looked like they were finally hitting their stride, but it was as if they took their eyes off the road as they were finally passing a few people just to crash into a brick wall in Baltimore. They will be looking to put that performance in the rearview mirror as they head off to Indianapolis to face the Colts.
The Colts have a new face at quarterback this season. Former-Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers signed with the team this offseason on a one-year deal. The move may have flown under a few people’s radar as other names like Tom Brady, Cam Newton and the many rookie quarterbacks were finding their places in the NFL. One of the most interesting facts of the game could be that the 38-year-old Rivers actually played against Bengals’ head coach Zac Taylor when Taylor was quarterbacking at Nebraska.
Rivers is coming off a two week stretch where he has really struggled. He failed to throw a touchdown last week against the Browns while throwing two interceptions, and the week before he only completed roughly 55 percent of his passes. He has also only thrown for over 220 passing yards twice this season.
His work may be cut out for him against this Bengals defense that has seemingly come alive the past two weeks. The most impressive of which was holding the Ravens to only 20 offensive points. Of course, questions remain on how well this team can continue to play at that level now that D.J. Reader is out for the season after holding down the middle of that defensive line. Sam Hubbard will also miss the game after starting each game this season.
Still, players like Jessie Bates, Carl Lawson, Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaither have been playing extremely well over that stretch, and they haven’t showed too much sign of changing that. Kudos also need to be extended to William Jackson and Darius Phillips. Each of them showed up in a big way in the run game last week, and they may need a repeat performance this week.
The key to this game, though, comes down to how well Burrow is able to bounce back. He had a very rough day against the Ravens who had a fantastic plan in how to stop Cincinnati’s passing game. The job doesn’t get much easier against the Colts who have a very talented front seven led by DeForest Buckner, Justin Houston and Darius Leonard. However, Leonard is out for this game, so the Bengals may be able to find some success on the ground with Joe Mixon.
Still, the Colts have the personnel to really get that same pressure on Burrow. Can this offense show last week was just a minor lapse and no need to worry, or are these struggles going to continue throughout the season?