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Bengals And Colts Clash In Week 6 Matchup

Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis is the closest geographical rivalry among cities in the AFC, with a driving distance of 110 miles along Interstate 74.
Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis is the closest geographical rivalry among cities in the AFC, with a driving distance of 110 miles along Interstate 74.

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.

Television: The game will air on FOX-TV. In the Bengals' home region, it will be carried by WXIX-TV (Ch. 19) in Cincinnati, WGRT-TV (Ch. 45) in Dayton, WDKY-TV (Ch. 56) in Lexington, and WTTE-TV (Ch. 28) in Columbus. Broadcasters are Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Laura Okmin (reporter).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

Setting the scene: The Bengals hit the road this week to take on the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. Cincinnati will look to bounce back after suffering a 27-3 loss at Baltimore last week.

"It was a frustrating day," said Bengals QB Joe Burrow. "We didn't win, and we didn't play well. We had a great week of practice, but it just didn't carry over."

Cincinnati's offense, which two weeks ago racked up 500 total yards against Jacksonville, struggled to find its footing against the Ravens. Bengals QB Joe Burrow, who a week earlier became the first rookie QB ever to pass for 300 yards in three straight games, was held to 183 passing yards and no TDs.

"I thought I prepared well, and I thought our team prepared well," Burrow said. "We work really hard throughout the week. It's just disappointing to come out here and play like that after you work so hard for six or seven days."

Baltimore scored 14 points off of three Cincinnati turnovers, including a fumble that was returned for a TD. But despite dealing with short fields and a minus-two turnover margin, the Bengals' defense put together a mostly solid showing. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, the NFL's reigning MVP, completed just 51.4 percent of his passes on the day, while rushing for only three yards and posting a passer rating of 71.9. The Ravens did rush for 161 yards, however 76 of those came on two plays.

"I thought the defense did a lot of really good things," said head coach Zac Taylor. "The offense put the them in a lot of tough positions with turnovers and penalties, but they did a lot of things that we can build off of. If they play like that again, we can win a lot of football games. But this was one of those times when we didn't complement each other on both phases of the ball."

The defense, though, was dealt two tough blows on Sunday. DT D.J. Reader suffered a left quad injury, and was placed on Reserve/Injured on Monday. Taylor said later that Reader would not return this season. Additionally, DE Sam Hubbard suffered a wrist injury that Taylor said will keep him out of this week's game at Indianapolis. Despite the bad news, Taylor said he remains encouraged about his team's approach in the face of adversity.

The Bengals this week face a Colts defense that ranks among the top three in the NFL in nearly every category, including No. 1 rankings in total yards allowed per game (266.0) and passing yards allowed per game (179.6).

"This is a resilient team, and a very connected team," Taylor said. "It's unfortunate that we put that performance on the field (at Baltimore) — playing and coaching. But we're not going to hit the panic button. We're going to regroup and be ready for the Colts this Sunday."

Indianapolis enters this week's game at 3-2, after suffering a 32-23 loss at Cleveland on Sunday.

Take a walk down memory lane looking back at some of the best images from the Bengals versus Colts series.

The series: The Colts lead 19-12 overall (17-12 regular season, and 2-0 postseason), including 11-7 as the home team and 4-1 at Lucas Oil Stadium, which opened in 2008.

The Colts franchise was in Baltimore prior to 1984. Overall, the Bengals were 4-5 against the Baltimore Colts and now stand 8-14 against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Bengals and Colts also have met 28 times in preseason, with the Bengals leading that series 16-12. The two teams were scheduled to play in preseason this year, but the preseason was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The I-74 rivalry: Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis is the closest geographical rivalry among cities in the AFC, with a driving distance of 110 miles along Interstate 74. The next closest is Cleveland-Pittsburgh at 137 miles.

Though the teams are not division rivals, they have played each other somewhat frequently, including in nine of the past 15 regular seasons (since 2005). Preseason also has played a role in keeping the rivalry alive, as the clubs have met 27 of the last 28 years in which preseason games were played (the two teams did not meet in preseason in 2000, and no preseason games were played in '20).

Bengals-Colts connections: Colts C Ryan Kelly is from West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West High School) ... Bengals S Jessie Bates is from Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider High School) ... Bengals LB Markus Bailey played at Purdue University ... Bengals DE Khalid Kareem played at the University of Notre Dame... Colts CB T.J. Carrie played at Ohio University ... Colts DT/DE Tyquan Lewis, WR Parris Campbell (Reserve/Injured) and S Malik Hooker (Reserve/Injured) all played at Ohio State University ... Colts WR Ashton Dulin is from Reynoldsburg, Ohio (Reynoldsburg High School) ... Bengals CB Winston Rose (practice squad) briefly spent time with the Colts during preseason in 2016 ... Bengals assistant wide receivers coach Troy Walters is from Bloomington, Ind., played WR for the Colts from 2002-05, and coached at Indiana State University in '09 ... Bengals assistant special teams coach Colt Anderson played DB for the Colts from 2014- 15 ... Bengals running backs coach Jemal Singleton was on the Colts' coaching staff from 2016-17 ... Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher worked as a scout in the Colts' player personnel department from 2012-15 ... Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo coached at Purdue University from 2004-11 ... Bengals defensive assistant Gerald Chatman coached at Ball State University from 2012-13, and Butler University in '14 ... Bengals secondary/cornerbacks coach Steve Jackson played at Purdue University from 1987-90 ... Colts special defensive assistant/assistant defensive line coach Matt Raich was on the Bengals' coaching staff in 2018 ... Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is from Toledo, Ohio, and played (1988-91) and coached (2000) at the University of Toledo ... Colts defensive backs/cornerbacks coach Jonathan Gannon played (2002) and coached ('06) at the University of Louisville ... Colts wide receivers coach Mike Groh coached at the University of Louisville in 2010 ... Colts assistant to the head coach Tyler Boyles coached at Eastern Kentucky University in 2013.

Bengals rookie QBs as starters: Joe Burrow this season has become just the 14th rookie QB to start a game for the Bengals. Only two of the previous 13, though, have started more than four games — Greg Cook in 1969 (4-6-1 record) and Andy Dalton in 2011 (9-7 record). Dalton in 2011 earned a Pro Bowl nomination and famously led the Bengals to a Wild Card Playoff berth, despite the team being widely predicted before that season to be among the worst in the NFL.

Other Bengal QBs of note to start as rookies include Ken Anderson in 1971 (0-4) and Boomer Esiason in '84 (3-1). Burrow's fellow No. 1 overall pick, Carson Palmer, did not take over the starting role until his second season.

Burrow has started every game so far this season, and is 1-3-1.

Boyd looking for his third thousand: Bengals WR Tyler Boyd this season looks to become just the fourth Cincinnati pass-catcher to record three consecutive 1000-yard seasons. He would join WRs Chad Johnson (six consecutive; 2002-07), A.J. Green (five; '11-15) and Carl Pickens (three; 1994-96).

Through five games, Boyd has a team-high 362 yards (on 32 catches), a pace that projects out to 1158 yards over a full 16-game slate. Boyd topped the 1000-yard mark in both 2018 and '19, despite his running mate, Green, playing just nine of 32 possible games over that stretch. Last season, he finished with a career-high and team-best 1046 receiving yards (on 90 catches), which slightly bested his '18 total of 1028 yards (on 76 catches).

Boyd stands as one of nine Bengals ever to reach 1000 receiving yards in a season, and one of six to hit the mark more than once. Johnson's seven 1000-yard seasons stand as the most in team history, followed by Green (six), Pickens (four), WR Cris Collinsworth (four) and WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (two). WRs Eddie Brown, Tim McGee and Darnay Scott each had one 1000-yard season.

Mixon also seeking this third thousand: Bengals HB Joe Mixon this season is looking to become just the fourth player in team history to record three consecutive 1000-yard rushing seasons. He would join Corey Dillon (six consecutive; 1997-2002), Rudi Johnson (three; '04-06) and Cedric Benson (three; '09-11). So far this season, Mixon has 374 yards (on 101 carries), a pace that projects out to 1196 yards over a full 16-game slate.

Mixon, who owns two of the 22 1000-yard rushing seasons in team history, hit the mark in both 2018 and '19. It was the 12th instance, and the first since Benson in 2010-11, of a Bengal rushing for 1000 yards in back-to-back seasons.

Last year, he notched 1137 yards despite a slow start to the season. His 817 yards over the final eight games were second-most in the NFL over that span, and he ended the season with at least 130 rushing yards in three of his final four games. In 2018, he became the first Bengal ever to lead the AFC in rushing yards (1168), and did so despite missing two games due to a knee injury.

Mixon currently stands as one of just five Bengals ever to rush for 1000 yards in multiple seasons — Dillon (six times), Johnson (three), Benson (three) and James Brooks (three).

On Sept. 2, Mixon signed a contract extension that will keep in him Cincinnati through 2024.

Mixon and Boyd chasing Chad and Rudi: Bengals HB Joe Mixon and WR Tyler Boyd this season are looking to become just the second duo in team history to record 1000 rushing yards and 1000 receiving yards together in three consecutive seasons. They would join WR Chad Johnson and HB Rudi Johnson, who achieved the feat from 2004-06. Chad and Rudi Johnson also are the only other duo to hit their respective 1000-yard marks in back-to-back seasons, a feat Mixon and Boyd did last year.

The Bengals have had a 1000-yard rusher and receiver in the same season 15 times, meaning Boyd and Mixon currently own two of those instances.

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