The CINCINNATI and the INDIANAPOLIS will both be gunning for a victory on 9/9/2018 at 1:00 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
CINCINNATI vs INDIANAPOLIS
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 9, 2018
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
|457||CINCINNATI||-3 (-110)||46 (-110)||130
TV: 1:00 PM
PREDICTION: INDIANAPOLIS , CINCINNATI
Oddsmakers currently have the INDIANAPOLIS listed as -3 point favorites versus the CINCINNATI, while the game’s total is sitting at 46.
Quarterback Andrew Luck will play in his first regular-season game in almost two years on Sunday when he leads the Indianapolis Colts into their home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. “I hesitate in saying the comeback has come full circle,” said Luck, who missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. “I just want to go out and play football. I feel really good and I’m really excited. I feel like I’m in great shape, feel like I can make all the throws I need.”
The 28-year-old Luck was unable to even throw a regulation football until June but worked his way through the preseason with few hiccups, completing 20-of-32 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown in 11 series. The contest also marks the head coaching debut of Frank Reich, who helped guide the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl title before taking over in Indianapolis for the fired Chuck Pagano. As Reich settles into his new role, Marvin Lewis begins his 16th year at the helm for the Bengals, who missed the playoffs for the second straight time in 2017. The teams will be meeting for the second time in 11 days after the Colts won the preseason finale 27-26 on Aug. 30 with reserves getting the bulk of the action.
TV: 1 p.m. CBS. LINE: Colts -3. O/U: 48.5
ABOUT THE BENGALS (2017: 7-9, 3RD IN AFC NORTH): One of the few notable spots up for grab in the preseason finale was the backup quarterback job, but Matt Barkley was taken out of the mix when he suffered a season-ending knee injury. That leaves Jeff Driskel to play behind Andy Dalton, who is coming off a down year but still has talent around him in star wide receiver A.J. Green, emerging talent Joe Mixon at running back and — potentially — a healthy Tyler Eifert at tight end. Cincinnati expects big things from a defensive line anchored by six-time Pro Bowler Geno Atkins.
ABOUT THE COLTS (2017: 4-12, TIED FOR 3RD IN AFC SOUTH): Indianapolis obviously wants to keep Luck upright as much as possible and it hopes to have veteran left tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring) active to help provide protection, although Reich has yet to make a decision. “He’s been working hard,” Reich told the media of Castonzo, who practiced Wednesday for the first time in several weeks. “It’s not like physically he hasn’t been working hard and getting some field work out there. We are just on a day-to-day basis.” The Colts need improvement on the other side of the ball after giving up 25.3 points per game last year, the third-highest total in the league.
1. Luck threw for 376 yards and a touchdown to lead the Colts to a 26-10 win over the Bengals in the last meeting in Indianapolis, which came in the wild-card round of the 2014 playoffs.
2. Dalton needs 1,616 passing yards to move ahead of Boomer Esiason and into second place on the franchise list.
3. Cincinnati defeated the Colts 24-23 last year at home despite career highs of 12 catches and 121 yards for Indianapolis TE Jack Doyle.
PREDICTION: Colts 26, Bengals 21