Dopey Report Card (Colts-Bengals)
It took 13 games, but the Colts finally produced a stinker of a performance. All three phases struggled badly. Burn the tape. Move on. Pittsburgh is next.
The Colts have a problem; they’ve failed to exceed 100 yards rushing in four of their last five games and produced their second-worst rushing game of the season Sunday. Worse yet, they’ve come up short against defenses that are not statistically good against the run, including the Bengals, who rank 31st in run defense and last, or next to last, in almost every other defensive category. Somehow, they’ve won four games out of five, relying on special teams and the pass rush, but with the season coming down to its final four games, it’s imperative the Colts “run the damn ball.” Will Jonathan Taylor make all the difference if and when he returns from thumb surgery? Hard to say. It’s not like Zack Moss is some kind of slacker, but he’s had no success running the ball in recent games. Opponents have figured out the Colts. “They (the Bengals) were more of a nickel team; they came out and played more base,” said tight end Mo Alie-Cox. “Against those base packages is where we’ve had a little bit more trouble than the other stuff. We’ve just got to find ways to make plays against those.” In the end, the Colts were rendered one-dimensional. That’s not the recipe for winning, not with a solid if unspectacular backup quarterback in Gardner Minshew.