The Indianapolis Colts host the Cincinnati Bengals in Week Seven. I spoke with Matthew Wilson, an editor for Stripe Hype, to get some behind the scenes information on this week’s opponent.
1. The Bengals got off to a fast start, but the last two weeks have produced disappointing results. What has been the problem in the loss and tie? What needs to change this week?
The defense has been a problem from Week One, especially passing. They have allowed way too many yards, but in the first three games, were able to get turnovers and capitalize. After the bye week, the competition has been much better and Paul Guenther doesn’t seem to adapt well in his bend but not break defense. The offense, minus some mistakes the past two weeks has been much better this season. I think they should get credit for the three wins and even the tie they have.
2. What is the calling card for the Bengals? What has been the focus on offense and how has the team produced defensively?
The focus has been balance offensively. They have been a structured well oiled machine with a few slips here and there, but mistakes are going to happen. We saw a huge running game for Giovani Bernard last week and they know that they have a solid option at running back.
The defense on the other hand, as I stated above, has been bend but not break. The problem with that theory is when you give good to great offenses opportunities, they will capitalize, and the past two weeks they have. If Vontaze is good, I see their run defense getting back into form with a full game under his belt.
3. What is the likelihood that A.J. Green plays Sunday? How does the offense change without him on the field?
(Editor’s Note: Since the questions were emailed, we learned that Green will be OUT on Sunday)
Green didn’t practice for the most part this week. So they might give him some more time to rest. This team sees much looser coverage on Sanu, Tate, and Sanzenbacher, when Green is on the field because the focus is more about shutting down Green. When he is not, they can spread the field with their safeties and even linebackers to shut down the pass game, although last week showed a Carolina team that couldn’t cover short and allowed short plays to become big.
4. What needs to happen for the Bengals to come away with a win? Who has to step up on both sides of the ball?
The offense needs to continue to do what they did last week. Balanced offense and spread the field. Andy Dalton needs to limit mistakes and get back to low turnover football.
The defense needs to make an appearance in this game. It looked like they were incredibly lost against Carolina. If they can get to Luck and interrupt this strong pass defense. The Colts offense seems to be centered around his performance, and rightfully so.
5. What is your prediction for the game? Who wins and why?
As much as I would love to seem the boys in stripes steal one, until they prove they can run with the big boys, I am going to stick to the fact that they are a different team on the road. Colts win but almost too close for comfort 24-20.