Week 8 Grade: Indianapolis Colts Defense at Bengals

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 29: Barkevious Mingo
CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 29: Barkevious Mingo /

The defense played well enough to win on Sunday, but the Colts’ unlucky season continued as the bounces didn’t go their way.

After giving up over 300 yards passing to Blake Bortles, the Colts’ defense bounced back with a strong performance in Cincinnati. However, one big play and a couple of missed opportunities prevented them from picking up a win.


The Colts’ run defense has been much improved this season with some key additions along the defensive line, and they totally shut down the Bengals’ ground game on Sunday.

Cincinnati’s three-headed backfield of Joe Mixon, Jeremy Hill, and Giovanni Bernard combined to rush for only 58 yards on 21 carries with an average of 2.8 yards per rush.

The pass defense also came to play as they broke up the connection between Andy Dalton and A.J. Green that has been so successful in Cincinnati.

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Green was targeted 8 times, but only managed 27 yards on 3 receptions.

Unfortunately, the Colts gave up a 67-yard reception to Joe Mixon on a screen pass that set up Dalton’s touchdown pass to Green in the second quarter.

Indianapolis forced two turnovers on the day, but they were inches away from having two more. They forced four fumbles, but were only able to recover two of them which could’ve been the difference in a game as tight as this one.

Tarell Basham took down Andy Dalton for his first career sack. Jon Bostic and Henry Anderson also picked up one sack apiece exploiting a weakness against the Bengals’ offensive line. Also, Barkevious Mingo carried over some strong play from the second half of the Jags game into Sunday’s game in Cincinnati.

The Colts are seeing some strong individual performances on defense each week, but they still need to put it all together if they want to pick up a third win.