Mark Eckel (NJ Advance Media)
The Indianapolis Colts beat up the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-0, in a Week 7 game in Indianapolis, and it wasn’t even that close.
The Colts rolled up over 500 yards of offense, and held the Bengals to 135 total yards. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck posted a quarterback rating of 105.7, which was almost double Cincy’s quarterback’s Andy Dalton’s 55.4.
T.Y. Hilton caught seven of Luck’s pass for 107 yards, which almost matched the Bengals’ entire output. Cincinnati ran for just 35 yards that day.
Will the Bengals, just a four-point underdog in this one, be more prepared for a Colts’ team that hasn’t played as well since that win?
Here are five things you need to know about the rematch on Sunday.
It’s been such a long time: The Bengals have not won a playoff game since 1990, when they beat the Houston Oilers, 42-14, in a wild card game. They lost to the Oakland Raiders, 20-10, the following week and have lost their next four playoff games.
Not a good finish: When the Colts beat the Bengals that day, it was their fifth consecutive win and lifted them to 5-2 on the season. They proceeded to lose two of their next three games before beating Jacksonville, Washington and Cleveland. The Colts, however, haven’t beaten a good team or played that well since the victory over the Bengals.
He’s Return man, not Pac-Man Adam Jones of the Bengals ended the season as the league’s best overall returnman with a combined yardage total of 43.4 yards per return. Jones averaged 31.3 yards on kickoff returns, the best in the league, and also averaged 11.9 yards per punt return, fifth best in the league.
Running in place: Indianapolis’ top running back is Trent Richardson, who gained just 519 yards this season. The Bengals had two running backs — rookie Jeremy Hill, their second-round pick and Geovani Bernard, their 2013 second-round pick — gain more yards. Hill ran for 1,124 yards and Bernard added 680.
Raggedy Andy: Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has become a lightning rod in Cincinnati. Dalton needs a good playoff game to turn fans back in his favor. In his three playoff losses, Dalton has thrown just one touchdown pass and six interceptions. He’s also been sacked nine times.
Prediction Indianapolis 24, Cincinnati 17