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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts Preview and Predictions 10-18-2020

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It's been an up and down first season with the Indianapolis Colts for veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, who was signed for $25 million to get a team with high expectations back to the playoffs.

Coming off a poor outing in last week's 32-23 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Rivers vowed he'll be better this week when the Colts (3-2) host the Bengals (1-3-1) at Lucas Oil Stadium.

At 38, Rivers has passed for 1,227 yards and completed 70.8 percent in five games. But he's also posted a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 4-to-5 and has driven the Colts to just two touchdowns in their last 22 offensive possessions over the past two games.

In the Browns' loss, Rivers threw a pick-six and was called for an intentional grounding penalty in his own end zone for a safety, leading directly to nine Cleveland points.

"I do think that's an important message that we are 3-2 and there is no panic here," Rivers said. "Certainly disappointing the way the game went and certainly individually not playing as well as I would have liked. But we are still in position to accomplish everything we wanted to and have an opportunity this week to get back on track."

Colts coach Frank Reich said there are no plans to pull Rivers for backup Jacoby Brissett, who started 15 games for the Colts last season.

"Philip is our quarterback," Reich said.

Like Rivers, Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow is coming off a tough outing.

Burrow was held to 183 yards passing with no touchdowns and an interception in Cincinnati's 27-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Overall, though, it has been a successful rookie season so far for Burrow, who was taken No. 1 in the NFL draft last April after leading LSU to a national championship and winning the Heisman Trophy. Burrow has passed for 1,304 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.

Burrow said he expects the Bengals' offense to bounce back against the Colts on Sunday.

"We just got off of three straight weeks of 300 yards passing," Burrow said. "We've been moving the ball up and down the field and we had a bad game. That's going to happen in the NFL, but you have a short memory as an offense and a quarterback, and you are going to go out there and execute the next week."

Burrow is still trying to establish chemistry with Bengals veteran wideout A.J. Green, as the 32-year-old, seven-time All-Pro has managed just 14 catches for 119 yards with no TDs on the season.

"We need to get him going," Burrow said. "He's a big part of this offense."

Green (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday.

After facing the NFL's top scoring defense last week, the Ravens, it won't get any easier for Burrow. The Colts rank second in the league in points allowed, giving up just 17.6 points per game.

"They play three or four coverages and they do it really, really well," Burrow said. "They are very well coached and all their guys play really hard. That's what jumps out on film. They don't put guys out there that don't play hard. So we are going to have to match their intensity."

The Colts had five players miss practice Wednesday with injuries: tight end Mo Alie-Cox (knee), linebacker Darius Leonard (groin), defensive ends Denico Autry (ankle/knee) and Justin Houston (hip), and safety Julian Blackmon (groin).

Offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (ribs) was upgraded to limited after missing Week 5.

For the Bengals, cornerback Mackensie Alexander (hamstring) and running back Giovani Bernard (groin) were limited Wednesday, while wide receiver Auden Tate (shoulder), defensive end Sam Hubbard (elbow) and cornerback Darius Phillips (shoulder) missed practice.

--Field Level Media

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
Capacity: 63,000

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Last Injuries

Indianapolis Colts

  • Jordan Wilkins

    Calf
    Ques Week 8 | questionable

    Wilkins is bothered by a calf injury, leaving his availability against the Lions in Week 8 up in the air.

  • Mo Alie-Cox

    Knee
    Ques Week 8 | questionable

    Alie-Cox was absent from the last contest due to a knee injury, and it is undetermined if he will play Week 8 against the Lions.

  • Darius Leonard

    Groin
    Ques Week 8 | questionable

    Leonard has been absent from the previous two games with a groin injury, and it is unclear if he will suit up Week 8 versus the Lions.

  • Chaz Green

    Back
    Ques Week 8 | questionable

    Green missed the last game with a back injury, and it is unknown if he will take the field against the Lions in Week 8.

  • Justin Houston

    Hip
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Houston is nursing a hip injury, and it is unknown if he will be available against the Bengals on Sunday.

  • Jordan Wilkins

    Calf
    Prob Sun | probable

    Wilkins was confined to a limited role in practice due to a calf injury, but he will be active Sunday versus the Bengals.

  • Julian Blackmon

    Groin
    Prob Sun | probable

    Blackmon exited the last game with a groin injury, but he is likely to face the Bengals on Sunday.

  • Sheldon Day

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Day has been activated from the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after recuperating from a knee injury. It is unclear if he will return to the field against the Bengals on Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Sam Hubbard

    Elbow
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Hubbard has been moved to the injured reserve list with a left elbow injury, and it remains to be seen when he will return.

  • Joe Mixon

    Foot
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Mixon sustained a foot injury in the previous game, and it is unclear if he will be available for Sunday's contest versus the Browns.

  • Auden Tate

    Shoulder
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Tate sat out the last game due to with a shoulder injury, and it is unknown if he will face the Browns on Sunday.

  • A.J. Green

    Hamstring
    Prob Sun | probable

    Green exited the previous game with a hamstring injury but is expected to be in Sunday's lineup versus the Colts.

  • Giovani Bernard

    Groin
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Bernard is nursing a groin injury, and it is uncertain if he will take the field Sunday versus the Colts.

  • Darius Phillips

    Shoulder
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Phillips has a shoulder injury, and it is unclear if he will suit up against the Colts on Sunday.

  • Joe Mixon

    Foot
    day-to-day | questionable

    MIxon was lifted from Sunday's game with a foot injury, and his return is unclear.

  • Jonah Williams

    Shoulder
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Williams was absent from the last contest with a shoulder injury, and it is undetermined if he will line up against the Colts on Sunday.