Game Scout: Colts at Bengals

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-4)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
*Keys to the game: Indianapolis is still trying to find its way on offense without a true gamebreaker. Possession receiver Reggie Wayne was crafty and spread out defenses who no longer honor outside receivers not named T.Y. Hilton. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton can rotate Hilton through the formation in an attempt to dictate matchups, but QB Andrew Luck remains the most consistent running threat. RB Donald Brown is capable, but interior blocking has troubled the Colts, and Cincinnati remains beefy in the trenches. Bengals WR A.J. Green has six 100-yard games and is too much to handle in one-on-one coverage. That has opened expansive lanes for RBs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, and the Colts are 28th in run defense largely due to poor third-down performance.
*Matchup to watch - Bengals CB Adam Jones vs. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton: Chargers rookie WR Keenan Allen had his way with Jones last week. Hilton has five touchdown catches of 50-plus yards over the past two seasons and is tied for sixth with nine 100-yard receiving games. He is a good vertical receiver and, if he gets rolling, the Colts can open the playbook wide.
*Player spotlight - Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick: The 2012 first-round pick continues to make the most of his limited snaps. He got his first NFL interception last week and is expected to see more snaps at nickel corner.
*Fast facts: The Bengals are 5-0 at home this season. ... The Colts have converted just 14.7 percent of third-down chances over the past five games.
Close games are the Colts' forte, with a 15-2 record in one-score games since coach Chuck Pagano was hired. But struggling on third down on both sides of the ball does in Indy on the road.
*Our pick: Bengals 28-22

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