Game 4 Preview: Colts at Bengals


Tonight the Indianapolis Colts make the short trip to Cincinatti to take on Carson Palmer and the Bengals in their last preseason game.  The only problem is that Carson Palmer will not be playing. Banged up with a sprained ankle, he’ll sit out  the Bengals final action before the regular season.

The Colts also have their fair share of players missing the game: Bob Sanders, Clint Session, Kelvin Hayden, Mike Hart, Mike Pollak, Tom Santi, and Sam Giguere will not make the trip with the Colts. (thanks to SB, via the IFR)  The absence of Sanders and Hayden does not bother me too much.  They know how to be ready for gameday. On the same notion, it would be nice to see Session play, but I think he’ll be ok. On the flip side, it is not good that Pollak and Hart will miss time, as well as Santi and Giguere.  Pollak has a roster spot, but the remaining three could be in jeopardy if they remain hurt.

Once again, tonight will be an opportunity for the Colts to work out some kinks, shake off that last little bit of rust and really work on some of the areas they want to improve.  Peyton Manning will see plenty of snaps and will get plenty of work with his starters.  Jim Sorgi might even get in some work tonight! Also it is likely we’ll see plenty of Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, in addition to Donald Brown and Lance Ball

On the defensive side of the ball, there are still some battles to be fought.  Back up middle linebacker and the back up safeties are two areas to keep an eye on.  The Colts let go of middle linebacker Adam Seward (errr) but Colts veteran Freddy Keiaho has not been that great thus far.  It will be interesting to see how the position plays out and how the Colts determine their depth at defensive back.

On the flip side, the Bengals will just try and get some positives out of tonights game.  They are 1-2 in the preseason, only scoring 35 points while giving up a not too shabby 47. The Bengals are looking to improve on last year’s season in which their D finished a very respectable 12th overall.  In this area, they might just succeed.  Draft picks Rey Maualuga could potentially start, and Michael Johnson and Morgan Trent could also play and make an impact this season.

With Carson Palmer out, the offense will look to move the ball and find some small victories anyway they can.  They have a retooled wide receiver corps, no true receiving tight end and a rebuilt offensive line. Running back Cedric Benson has 23 carries and eight have been for no gain or a loss of yards.

Potentially, this is a good chance for the Colts to end the preseason on a very, very high note. Hopefully they can come out amped up and ready to play, get in some good work and leave Cincy with a win under their belt and momentum on their side. A few things to watch:

– As always, Austin Collie vs. Pierre Garcon

– Lance Ball vs. Chad Simpson … could be a battle for 3rd RB right here

– Who will return punts/kicks ?? TJ Rushing, Jamie Silva ?? No one has impressed here

– How will Jim Sorgi look? How many snaps will Painter get?

– How will Freddy Keiaho do? Who will step up and impress at MLB?

Just a few of the main things to keep an eye on. As I said, great chance for the Colts to get in some good work and come away with a win and more importantly, gain some good team momentum heading into the regular season.