The Bengals are looking to bounce back after being dominated by divisional rival Ravens in what was really Joe Burrow’s first performance where he’s looked like a rookie. Burrow finished with under 185 passing yards, 1 INT and Zero TD’s but in fairness to him his line gave him almost no protection as Burrow was Sacked 7 times and this is becoming an issue as the Bengals have allowed 22 Sacks on the season which is of course the most in the NFL through 5 weeks and with a Colts D who’ve posted 11 Sacks up next I can see Burrow running for his life again. On Defense there is a drastic improvement against the pass from last year and kept Lamar Jackson to only 180 yards and a 51% pass completion but stopping the run is another problem entirely, they allowed over 160 yards on the ground to the Ravens and rank in the bottom three of the league in rushing yards allowed per game.
Now if the Colts are smart they’ll take advantage of this but establishing the run early and allowing Jonathan Taylor the vast majority of the touches but this doesn’t seem to be what Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni have planned or at least it hasn’t been as Taylor has been part of a committee instead of a stand alone RB, I’m the one game he was on the field for more than 55% of Offensive snaps he garnered over 100 yards and a TD so in this matchup against this porous Run D it might be wise for the play callers to lean on the rookie runner and not only because he’s the best offensive weapon they have and the matchup is favourable but because Philip Rivers is no longer a viable starting NFL QB and his arm strength has fallen off a cliff so much so that in the two games he’s had to attempt 30 passes or more they’ve lost both and whilst this isn’t as simple as it sounds (you run the ball more when you’re ahead and throw more when you’re behind so it makes sense you’d lose more games with exaggerated passing attempts) it is smart to not make Rivers win a game with his arm and instead play second fiddle to the run game. On Defense and the Colts have been stifling this season against the run and boast the #1 pass defense in football who will if Burrow can be protected be tested but the Colts should have enough to get the W here especially if they can get JT and the running game going.
PREDICTION: COLTS 21 – 10 BENGALS
BEST BET: Jonathan Taylor anytime TD – 1/2 with Betfair. 2 point bet.