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Behind Enemy Lines: Preview, Predictions and Tailgating

The Bengals and Colts meet up for the third time this year and we are again joined by Josh Wilson of Stampede Blue to take a look at the I-74 showdown.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Scott: What about this Colts team gives you confidence going into this Wild Card matchup? And what about this Colts team gives you concern going into this game?

Josh Wilson: I think Colts safety Mike Adams said it best this week when he was asked why he felt the Colts could make a run in the playoffs. He turned around and pointed at Andrew Luck's locker. And it's hard to argue. This is a team with a lot of issues and a lot of shortcomings, but in the National Football League, a quarterback can cover over a lot of them.

Luck has done that this year (the Colts would likely be a four-win team without him), and with him playing, the Colts absolutely have a shot in every single game they play. Luck and the offense have been very good this season, and if they can get in sync in this game there's plenty to be encouraged about. Their special teams unit is arguably the best in the league, and that could be a big weapon too.

Defensively, Vontae Davis leads a strong secondary, and the Colts showed earlier in the year against the Bengals that they could be physical and win games with their defense. At the same time, there's plenty to be concerned about. The Colts have had a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot recently with turnovers, poor offensive line play, and other things along those lines.

There's no guarantee that they'll put it all together offensively this week. Defensively, they can be beat and they have weaknesses. Their pass rush is almost exclusively manufactured by blitzes. They can be beat through the passing game, particularly by tight ends or by targeting Greg Toler. And those are just a few of the causes for concern that the Colts have.

Scott: Who wins on Sunday and why?

Josh: I'm taking the Colts by a field goal.

Andrew Luck and the offense will get points, and it will be up to the Bengals to put up more than them. The Colts defense matches up relatively well against the Bengals, and I think they could have some success.

The x-factor for Cincinnati will be Jeremy Hill, and they would be wise to use him and try to limit Andy Dalton's role. If the Bengals let Dalton throw it, they're likely playing right into the Colts' defensive strength, which is their secondary. Indy can be beat in the ground game, but it's the question of whether running the football can put up enough points to match Andrew Luck and the Colts' passing attack, and I don't think so. I'm taking Indy this time around as well, though much closer than it was in October.

Bonus Question: For Bengals fans traveling to Indy, where would you suggest tailgating/socializing before the game?

Josh: I'm not sure of one particular place to recommend, but there are a number of places right around Lucas Oil Stadium that people use to tailgate. The Colts put on a VIP Tailgate that I know of, but you'll find a number of people tailgating in parking lots not too far from the stadium, as well as restaurants, shops, etc. Indianapolis is a pretty easy city to walk around, so there are plenty of spots for socializing. If you want tailgating, I'm not sure of a particular place to suggest, but there are a number of spots nearby the stadium that I've seen people tailgating at each Sunday.