Week 11 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 45, Cincinnati Bengals 37
What you need to know
Manning spread the ball nicely in the first half. His top four receiving weapons each saw the ball a number of times. This was very successful for the Colts as they scored on their first five possessions. In the second half, after the Bengals brought the game to within one single point, Manning started looking for Harrison almost exclusively. Harrison was thrown to on nine of the 18 total targets in the second half. Harrison was not successful with the increased looks, but it should be noted that in a high pressure game, with the contest in doubt, Manning looked for Harrison almost as if he was the only receiver on the field.
Reggie Wayne had a huge game. Manning looked for him all game though he saw the vast majority of his targets in the first half. Wayne finished with 117 yards and a touchdown, but could have had another 22 yards when the defender guarding him was called for pass interference.
TE Dallas Clark was on fire in the first half with five receptions on seven targets for 109 yards. Unfortunately, this performance didn’t continue into the second half. In fact, Clark was a forgotten man in the second half with just one reception for 16 yards on the Colts’ first possession. Clark wasn’t targeted again.
Edgerrin James finished with 89 yards and two touchdowns. It could have been three. James brought the team down the field on the first possession of the game, and then took the sideline with the Colts only six yards out. Dominic Rhodes took the next two carries, and scored the games first touchdown.
The Bengals' offensive line played great, giving Carson Palmer plenty of protection and all day to throw the ball. Palmer looked every bit the quarterback that Manning is. He spread the ball, found open receivers, and moved the offense. It was almost like looking in a mirror the way these two teams stacked up with each other.
Chad Johnson had a monster day with eight receptions on 13 targets for 189 yards and a score. He looked like a man among boys on the field. Although covered well on every play, he always found ways to get open, and worked well with the ball once he had possession.
Chris Perry looked like the better of the two running backs for the Bengals. As the Bengals got behind in the game, Perry was used to change up the offense, and he absolutely performed well with his opportunities. He broke off long gains, ran well, and was a strong factor in the passing game. Something that Rudi Johnson was not. Perry ended the day with more yards than Rudi Johnson on half the carries.
What you ought to know
|QB Peyton Manning, Pass: 24 - 40 - 365 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - -3 - 0|
Like his counter part across the field Carson Palmer, Manning was a picture of perfection on the day. Manning came out white hot with the first five Colts’ possessions resulting in touchdowns.
The only low spot on the day was when Manning was intercepted as he was forcing the ball down field to Harrison in the two minutes of the first half. In the second half, with the Colts up by two scores, Manning locked into Marvin Harrison, but couldn’t successfully get him the ball on a regular basis due to the increased coverage. For the game, on a whole, this was classic Manning, certainly in the first half of the game.
James came out hot to start the game and kept on moving the chains throughout the game. He carried the ball five times for 37 yards to march the Colts down the field. As almost expected at this point, after moving the ball down the field, James took himself out at the six yard line allowing Rhodes to get the score. James went on to get his opportunities at the goal line, and scored two touchdowns himself. Although the Colts’ passing attack was the focal point of the offense in this game, James still had a great day, ran with power, and looked crisp. He did catch every ball thrown to him.
The only action Rhodes saw in the game were two back to back carries starting at the Bengals’ six yard line that resulted in the touchdown. James helped bring the Colts down the field, and then went to the sideline in the red zone.
Mungro played in the fullback role, and caught the lone ball thrown his way.
Manning forced the ball to Harrison 13 times, but he was only able to come away with five receptions. Manning was zoned in on well covered Harrison in the second half but couldn’t get the ball to him. Harrison had a poor day double and triple covered all game. He could have had a huge statistical day as Manning continued to push the ball to him.
In the first half, Wayne was clearly the go to wide receiver for Manning. The Colts’ offense came out white hot, and Wayne was clearly in a zone. On the Colts’ second possession, Manning took the first snap, fired it to Wayne, who went in for a 66 yard touchdown. Wayne finished the first half with six targets, only behind Dallas Clark who had eight. The Bengals pulled with in a single point of the Colts in the second half, and Manning went to Harrison ignoring most every other option on the field, except Wayne. When the game was on the line, Manning still found Wayne four times in the second half. This was a huge game for Wayne who finished with five receptions for 117 yards and a score. Add another 22 yards to his total that he lost on a pass interference call against the defender guarding him; it could have been a monstrous game.
Coming off a huge game last week, Stokley was not effective for the offense this week. In the first half, when Manning was spreading the ball, Stokley was targeted a respectable three times. In the second half, Manning only targeted Stokley once. He made the most of his two receptions taking them for 24 and 16 yards.
Clark was the leading receiver of the first half of the game. He was thrown to eight times, and Manning was looking for him constantly. Clark lost an excellent opportunity for a TD on a pass interference call against the defender guarding him that brought the ball to the one yard line. James then punched it in. After being so successful in the first half, Clark was the forgotten man in the second half. When the Bengals pulled within one point of the Colts, Manning just went to his old stand by, Marvin Harrison. Clark had one single target in the entire second half, which dampened his fantastic start of the game.
Like most games this season, the Colts opened in a two tight end set, with Fletcher on the field. Fletcher caught a single pass in each half, scoring in the second quarter. On his score, Fletcher skipped into the end zone.
Vanderjagt kicked six extra points and a 19 yard field goal.
The Bengals moved the ball well on the ground. This was a story of two great offenses that were barely stopped by the opposing defense. This was not the domination seen at the start of the season.
Palmer had all day to throw behind his offensive line. The Colts did manage to sack Palmer and intercept him once, but overall, the Colts defense did little to throw him off. There was not a dominating pass rush, and very little pressure.
|QB Carson Palmer, Pass: 25 - 38 - 335 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0|
Both quarterbacks on each side of the ball put on a show in this game. Palmer looked every bit as good as multiple league MVP Peyton Manning. Palmer shredded what is considered one of the top defenses in the league. He saw little to no pressure. He was sacked once, and did throw an interception, but had all day to throw on the game. Certainly some credit goes to the offensive line. Palmer used all his weapons, and spread the ball well.
|RB Rudi Johnson, Rush: 16 - 76 - 2, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)|
Johnson had a good game. He ran with power, and broke off a couple of nice gains. Johnson was great down at the goal line. He scored two touchdowns both times running off right tackle. Johnson was much more successful running to the right side of the field, and did struggle some running to the left. With the Bengals behind in the score, they started to use Chris Perry to share the load. Johnson was used sparingly in the passing game, catching a short pass in each half.
|RB Chris Perry, Rush: 8 - 82 - 0, Rec: 4 - 41 - 0 (6 targets)|
Every time Perry carried the ball, he took off for an excellent gain. Perry out rushed starter Rudi Johnson on half the carries. Perry wasn’t in the game until the Bengals got behind, and started to shake up the offense. Perry looked like the better runner with the opportunities he was given. Perry added another four receptions for 41 yards in the passing game.
Fullback Johnson caught the single ball thrown to him for one yard.
Johnson had a huge game catching eight receptions on 13 targets for 189 yards and a score. On that score, Johnson played to the crowd by proposing to a cheerleader, and writing “TO – I got you Baby” on a white board. Outside of that silliness, Johnson was clearly the focal point of the entire offense as Palmer looked for him on almost every play as his first read. Johnson made great catches, and once with the ball, ran past and in some cases over defenders.
Houshmandzadeh was used throughout the game, seeing four targets in each half. He was an excellent complement to Chad Johnson, and found ways to get open. He did have a critical lapse with a false start on third and long costing the Bengals the drive.
Henry finished with three receptions for 32 yards on five targets. As the third wide receiver, he was used throughout the game, although he was effective in the second half. After doing next to nothing in the first half, Henry caught a 15 yard touchdown to open the third quarter and bring the Bengals with in one point of the Colts.
Kelly caught one pass for eight yards in the first half.
Schobel caught one pass for nine yards in the second half.
Graham kicked four extra points and added field goals of 43, 41, and 44 yards.
The Bengals’ rush defense did little to stop James. If anything held back James it was that the Colts’ passing offense was clicking, and James wasn’t needed to carry the game. At the end of the contest, when James was running out the clock, the Bengals could do little to derail him.
Manning was sacked once, and threw an interception in the last two minutes of the first half trying to force the ball down the field to Harrison. On the day, Manning had massive protection, and all kinds of time to throw.