2014 Wild Card Weekend: Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) at Indianapolis Colts (11-5) preview and predictions.

NFL fans, the Wild Card Weekend is already halfway over, with an upset already happening, and a pair of double-digit verdicts. Today’s games are expected to be pretty good, and chances are, the second one will be.

The first game, however, might not go as well. This game is a rematch of the team’s Week 7 matchup. Like this one, that game was a noon kickoff on CBS. However, it was a throughly ugly affair, with the Bengals falling 27-0, in a game where the Bengals were outgained 506 yards to 135, losing the game 27-0. It was by far Colt Running back Trent Richardson’s best game of the season, while quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns.

Granted, the Bengals have been playing better since that game, but they are still wildly unpredictable. Quarterback Andy Dalton has been adequate at best yet again this season, and will likely be without star wide receiver AJ Green yet again, just as he was in that 27-0 shutout. The rushing duo of Jeremy Hill (1,124 yards, nine touchdowns) and Giovanni Bernard (680 rushing yards, 349 receiving yards, seven total touchdowns) has been great of late, with Hill reaching triple digits in yardage over the past three games, but the same unit garnered just 32 yards in Week 7.

Although the Colts have not looked very formidable of late. they still have an above average defense, an a quarterback in Andrew Luck (4,761 yards, 40 touchdowns) who anchors the top passing attack in the NFL. High-flying receiver TY Hilton (82 receptions, 1,345 yards, eight touchdowns in 15 games) is fully healthy, as are the team’s other weapons. Reggie Wayne is still a decent receiver, and the tight end combo of Coby Fleener (51 catches, 774 yards, eight touchdowns) and Damon Allen (395 yards, eight touchdowns) is as good as it gets.

Yes, I know that the Ravens were a hot upset pick, and they succeeded in Pittsburgh last night. But, the game went as it should’ve expected to go, seeing how the Ravens can play, and the fact that Leveon Bell did not play for the Steelers.

You know what else was a popular upset pick? The Arizona Cardinals were, and they put forth the worst offensive yardage game in NFL playoff history, against a seven-win team. Too many people are picking the Bengals in this game, and it boggles my mind. They beat Denver on a Monday night, and now everyone feels they are world-beaters, even though they lost by double digits in Pittsburgh last week. This game was a one-sided beatdown earlier in the season, and while I do not see it being that bad this go around, there’s no way I’m the Cincinnati Bengals who alway make the postseason and lose in their first game, to change things now. Prediction: Bengals 17, Colts 34.

 

Game information: Line: Colts by 4. O/U: 49. Kickoff: 1/Noon central, CBS)

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