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lamberts-lost-tooth
12-19-2006, 06:11 AM
A kick in the hopes:kick: ...Cincinnati loses key ground in race for playoffs


INDIANAPOLIS - The Bengals last-ranked pass defense lived down to its standing as the NFL's worst Monday night.

Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 282 yards and four touchdown passes, three to wide receiver Marvin Harrison and one to Reggie Wayne, in leading the Colts to a 34-16 victory.

The loss snapped the Bengals' four-game win streak and dropped them to 8-6 and the sixth seed in the AFC wild-card race - one spot behind Denver, where they will play Sunday after a short week.


The Broncos are 8-6, as are Jacksonville and the New York Jets.

The Bengals' loss gave the Baltimore Ravens the AFC North title.

AFC South division champion Indianapolis improved to 11-3.

On Monday night, Manning threw four touchdown passes in a single game for the 15th time in his career. He has 26 for the season, giving him 25 for all nine of his NFL seasons - a league record.

Three of the scores went to Harrison from short-yardage in the red zone - from the 4, 3 and 1-yard lines.

Bengals cornerback Deltha O'Neal was beaten in single coverage twice by Harrison. Wayne twisted Tory James around on an 18-yard touchdown.

Colts speed rush defensive end Dwight Freeney, who came in with just 21/2 sacks, had three against the Bengals. Freeney beat rookie left tackle Andrew Whitworth consistently and forced two fumbles.

In all, Indianapolis had four sacks.

The Bengals did activate left tackle Levi Jones, who always has played well against Freeney, but Jones was unable to play because of his injured knee.

Bengals All Pro right tackle Willie Anderson left in the first quarter with an aggravated right foot injury. Stacy Andrews replaced him, and Andrews and Whitworth struggled all night with Indianapolis' fast ends.

Freeney beat Whitworth to collect three sacks and force three fumbles. The pocket collapsed around Palmer throughout the fourth quarter. He was hit several times.

The Bengals were determined to run the ball against Indianapolis' last-ranked run defense.

Rudi Johnson ran 22 times for 79 yards. Third-down back Kenny Watson ran four times for 30 yards.

In all, the Bengals ran 30 times for 133 yards. The Bengals ran 32 pass plays. Carson Palmer was 14-for-28 passing for 176 yards and no touchdowns and no interceptions.

"These guys didn't throw as much as we thought they would,' Colts coach Tony Dungy said.

The Bengals converted just 2 of 11 third-down plays, but Indianapolis was 5 of 10 on third down.

With the Colts nursing a 31-16 lead, the Bengals could not stop the Indianapolis run or quick slants to Harrison down the middle of the field. The middle of the field was open all night for Manning in the pass game.

Both teams committed turnovers in the first half that resulted in points for the opposition.

Palmer lost a fumble on a Freeney sack. Tackle Andrew McFarland recovered for the Colts on the Cincinnati 46-yard line.

Indianapolis drove 34 yards on nine plays to set up a 30-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri and give the Colts a 3-0 lead.

The Bengals answered with a 27-yard field goal by Shayne Graham. It capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive. Rudi Johnson ran 21 yards to move the ball to the Colts 19, running through an attempted arm tackle by linebacker Cato June.

Johnson would end the half with 13 carries for 64 yards.

The Colts would move down the field twice, primarily on the pass, to take a 17-10 lead into the half.

Manning, who was 18-for-20 passing for 148 yards in the first half, threw his first of two first-half touchdowns from five yards to Harrison. One of Manning's two incomplete passes was intentionally thrown away.

With the Colts leading 10-3, the Bengals got a big break when Terrence Wilkins muffed a Kyle Larson punt at the 25, where Bengals tight end Tony Stewart recovered. Ethan Kilmer was down in coverage as the gunner.

From the 25, Freeney again beat Whitworth on an incomplete pass. On third and seven from the 22-yard line, wide receiver Reggie McNeal went into the shotgun, faked a handoff into the middle of the line and ran right for eight yards. He is a former college quarterback. Johnson ran in from the 12-yard to tie the score at 10.

Indianapolis took its 17-10 lead into the half by scoring on a pass from the 3, Manning to Harrison, on a near-double pump by the quarterback. Harrison got inside of O'Neal.

Preacher
12-19-2006, 02:22 PM
You know.. IT JUST MAY WORK OUT... that we TAKE the Bengals playoff spot.

Wouldn't that just be PERFECT!

Atlanta Dan
12-19-2006, 02:35 PM
I think it is Jets-Denver for the wildcards

The Raider and Denver losses were fatal to the Steelers chances but 'tis the season for regrets.

Imagine being a Jax fan and facing playoff elimination because you lost twice to the Texans.

HometownGal
12-19-2006, 02:57 PM
You know.. IT JUST MAY WORK OUT... that we TAKE the Bengals playoff spot.

Wouldn't that just be PERFECT!

Stranger things have happened in the NFL over the years so I'm not counting us out just yet. :tt02: If we win our last two games against our most hated division rivals, play spoiler to the Bungles and finish with a respectable 9-7 after the horrendous first half of the season, I'll gladly take that as a consolation prize! :smile:

floodcitygirl
12-19-2006, 03:28 PM
Stranger things have happened in the NFL over the years so I'm not counting us out just yet. :tt02: If we win our last two games against our most hated division rivals, play spoiler to the Bungles and finish with a respectable 9-7 after the horrendous first half of the season, I'll gladly take that as a consolation prize! :smile:From your lips to God's ear!

Big D
12-19-2006, 03:38 PM
I think it is Jets-Denver for the wildcards

The Raider and Denver losses were fatal to the Steelers chances but 'tis the season for regrets.

Imagine being a Jax fan and facing playoff elimination because you lost twice to the Texans.

you have to wonder how jack delrio stays off the hot seat

BlacknGold Bleeder
12-19-2006, 04:02 PM
you have to wonder how jack delrio stays off the hot seat

It's the suit....:bouncy:

klick81
12-19-2006, 07:35 PM
You know.. IT JUST MAY WORK OUT... that we TAKE the Bengals playoff spot.

Wouldn't that just be PERFECT!

That would be like something out of a movie...just awesome.

Preacher
12-20-2006, 12:08 AM
That would just be great!!