Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts NFL Playoffs Score, Recap, News and Notes
Andrew’s NFL Wild Card Breakdown and Analysis
January 4, 2015
In our second AFC playoff matchup of the weekend, the Bengals headed to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. Cincinnati was stuck with the Wild Card after a loss to the Steelers in Week 17, and Indianapolis was looking for some signs of consistency after an up-and-down season.
Let’s check out some of the noteworthy players and statistics from this game so that we can figure out why things played out the way they did. Afterward we’ll check out what’s ahead in the Divisional Round.
What Happened: The Colts got things going early, setting the tone on a 2-yard Dan Herron rushing touchdown. Later in the first quarter, the Bengals would respond on their own short TD run, this one a 1-yarder from Jeremy Hill.
In the second, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri connected on a pair of field goals from 38 and 29 yards before the Bengals’ Mike Nugent could post one himself from 57 yards out. It was the longest postseason field goal in Bengals history, a career-long for Nugent and the second-longest made field goal ever in the NFL playoffs.
At halftime, it was 13-10 Colts.
In the third, it was all Indianapolis as they began to pull away. Donte Moncrief connected with Andrew Luck on a pass TD from 36 yards out and Vinatieri nailed another field goal--this one from 22--to put the Colts up 23-10 heading into the fourth.
Early in the fourth, Vinatieri would connect on another boot from 53 yards away. That would make it 26-10 and that’s the way the score would stay. The Colts move on and the Bengals will continue their streak of postseason futility.
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The Stars: It’s not often we begin this space with a kicker, but Vinatieri is something of a rare breed. He’s virtually automatic at home, as evidenced by his performance today. He nailed 4-of-4 field goals and a pair of extra points. Luck had a big day through the air yardage-wise, posting 376 and a touchdown. It would have been better if not for a few drops.
On the other side, there’s really not much to get excited about. The Cincinnati offense had a rough day. Speaking of which…
The Goats: When they’re not healthy or running at an optimum level, the Bengals offense is simply outmatched against the AFC elite. They floundered nearly every time they had the ball, especially in the second half. They would finish with just 254 yards all together, stalling out at every big opportunity. That mark included just 144 yards passing from Andy Dalton, who was really out of sorts without two of his top receivers.
Injuries: The Bengals looked lost when they were on offense, thanks to some key injuries--namely A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham--who were both out for the game. As the game went on, they would add Ray Maualuga, Marquis Flowers and Dre Kirkpatrick to the injured players list.
Outlook: The Colts will move on to the Divisional Round, where they’ll visit Denver. Get ready for a long week of Manning/Luck comparisons.
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