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The Colts Influence




This Weeks Game

Colts VS Bengals

Pre Game Preview     Recap    Game Notes    Quotes    Scoring Summary


November 20
1:00 PM



















The Cincinnatti Bengals played a real good game this Sunday. They put up 34 points on the scoreboard. However, the Bengals learned they are not to the level of the Indianapolis Colts.

Then again, who is?

Bengals reciever, Chad Johnson and quarterback, Carson Palmer drove to Indianapolis to watch Manning and Marvin Harrison work their magic in a Monday night game last season, hoping to pick up some pointers.

Palmer and Johnson didn't have to drive to Indianapolis for this lesson.

On Sunday, they learned not to try to top them. 

They can't beat Peyton Manning and The Colts!

"You score 37 points in the NFL, and you lose? That's embarrassing," said Bengals defensive tackle Bryan Robinson.

"There was some stuff I've never seen before," said Chad Johnson, the Bengals' receiver. "Like on fourth down, the punt team was coming in and Manning looks to the sideline and sends everybody back off. Who does that?

"It's unbelievable, man. Looking at their offense from the sideline, it's not fair."

Manning and the Colts devastated a Bengals defense that came into the game without allowing three touchdowns in a game and not giving up a pass longer than 28 yards since the second quarter of the opener.

After a first half that showcased the offensive firepower of both the Colts and the Bengals, the Colts defenses showed a bit more life in the second half.

The Colts put 35 points on the board in the first half while the Bengals answered with 27 of their own. But then the two teams traded just ten points each in the second half while Cincinnati's tank hit empty.

Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes with an offense that reached the end zone on its first five possessions Sunday, and the Colts stay unbeaten with a 45-37 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Indianapolis Colts becomes the 17th team in The NFL to go 10-0 and the first since Denver in 1998.

Reciever, Chad Johnson gave the Bengals confidence with an early 68-yard touchdown catch and another novel celebration. He removed his helmet on the sideline, knelt in front of a cheerleader and took her hand in a mock proposal. Back at the bench, he wrote on a dry erase board: "T.O. I Got You Baby."

Mr. Johnson didn't do too much celebrating after that!

Johnson did back up his guarantee that the Colts couldn't cover him, however it just wasn't enough in a game against The Indianapolis Colts.

In the end, Manning got them. 

Earlier this season, the Colts' improved defense was all the rage as Indy won games by scores of 10-3 (against Jacksonville) and 13-6 (Cleveland). But in the past five weeks they've now thrown up the following shocking numbers: 45 points against the Rams, 38 at Houston, 40 at New England, 31 against Houston, and this Sunday, 45 at Cincinnati.

I can not see how people are saying that The Colts Defense sucked in this game! Number one, Freeney was tripled teamed!!!! Robert Mathis got a sack on Palmer! Let's see, on Bengal's first drive COLTS DEFENSE held them to a field goal. Second and third drive, well? Bengal's 4th drive COLTS DEFENSE made them have to punt. Bengal's 5th drive COLTS DEFENSE held them to another field goal. Colts OFFENSE on their following possession while instead of running down the clock, decides to pass ending up getting intercepted resulting in a Bengal's score. Bengal's next drive, well? Bengal's next drive, they try for a 4th and 1 as COLTS DEFENSE prevents them in doing so as they turn over the ball. Bengal's next drive, rookie Corner Back, Marlin Jackson intercepts Palmers pass. Bengals next drive COLTS DEFENSE holds them on a fourth and 4 again they turn the ball over. Bengal's next drive COLTS DEFENSE holds them to a field goal. I think they did a damn good job against an offense that is 5th in the NFL!

On with The Show . . .

Bengals kickoff as Dominick Rhodes recieves and brings it back for 13 yards.


To stop running back Edgerrin James, the Bengals blitzed and stacked the line and challenged Manning to show them his arm.

Call me crazy, and a lot of people do, but I just don't think it's very wise to tempt Peyton Manning to beat you with his arm.

Manning completed all five of his passes on the game's opening possession, an 11-play, 83-yard march capped by Dominic Rhodes' four-yard touchdown run six minutes into the contest.

The drive was highlighted by Peyton Manning's five of five passines including those to Brandon Stokley for 16 yards, Marvin Harrison for 12 and Reggie Wayne for 13.

Palmer had an answer on Cincinnati's first series, hooking up with T.J. Houshmandzadeh for 21 yards to put the ball inside the Colts' 30. However, the drive would stall and the Bengals settled for Shayne Graham's 43-yard field goal.

Just that quick, the Colts on their first play answer the Bengals score when Peyton found Reggie Wayne open deep down the left sideline for a 66-yard touchdown that put Indianapolis ahead 14-3 with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter.

Robert Scheer / The Star

The Bengals responded with a big touchdown play of their own as Palmer finds WR Chad Johnson for 68 yards and the score is 14-10, Colts.


Nevertheless, the Colts' offensive mechanism continued to roll upon getting the ball back. Manning delivered a 19-yard strike to Clark on 3rd-and-11 to the Cincinnati 23 and Bengals corner Tory James was flagged for pass interference on Wayne on a third-down incompletion to give Indy a 1st-and-goal. Manning then hit reserve tight end Bryan Fletcher on a delay route for a nine-yard touchdown and a 21-10 advantage less than a minute into the second quarter.

(AP Photo/David Kohl)

The Bengals hadn't given up three touchdowns in a game all season, and it took the Colts only 15:48 to do it.

The Bengals again countered on the ensuing possession. Palmer connected with Chad Johnson down the middle for a 26-yard gain before Rudi Johnson ripped off a 14-yard run to the Colts' 16. Palmer again came through later on with a six- yard pass to Houshmandzadeh on third down to bring Cincinnati to the five-yard line, and Rudi Johnson ended the nine-play, 64-drive with a one-yard run to bring the Bengals within four points.

The 21-17 score would again be short lived. Clark snared Manning's pass on a crossing pattern and rambled 56 yards before being brought down at the Bengals' six.

 That big play set up James' first TD of the day, a one-yard plunge midway through the second quartermaking it 28-17, Colts.

A J Macht

The Colts then forced the game's first punt and got the ball back in great field position by means of a personal foul face mask infraction by Ohalete on the return. Cincinnati still couldn't force a stop on third down, as Wayne hauled in a 23-yard delivery to the 18-yard line and Manning completed the series with a 21-yard scoring pass to Clark on 3rd-and-13 to give Indianapolis a 35-17 lead late in the first half.

AP Photo/David Kohl

On the Bengals next possesion, a holding call on Willie Anderson and two Palmer incompletions forced a 41-yard field goal from Graham with 1:29 left before intermission.

Then the Colts got greedy and instead of running down the clock and taking a 15-point lead into halftime, they tried to score after getting the ball back at their 28-yard line with 1:25 to go. Manning slipped as he threw a pass, and the ball went short, directly to Keiwan Ratliff.

Who should make the tackle?

Rob Goebel / The Star

Four plays later, Rudi Johnson ran for his second touchdown, cutting it to 35-27 - the second-most points ever in the first half of an NFL game.

The Jets and Buccaneers combined for 70 in 1985.



The fireworks continued once the third quarter got underway, as Palmer opened with his second touchdown pass, getting the Bengals to within a point.

With Manning completing 13 of his first 16 passes the Bengals decided to change strategy which resulted in the Colts showing their diversity by playing ball control, grinding out a 15-play drive that featured a heavy dose of James and consumed nearly 8 1/2 minutes of clock time. The All-Pro back ran nine times for 45 yards on the set and kept it alive with a powerful six-yard run on 4th-and-2 from near midfield. Manning would again strike gold on third down when he connected with Harrison for eight yards to the Cincinnati two, and James took it in from there to extend the score to 42-34 with 4:29 left in the third.

As both teams have been aggressive offensively and defenses tiring and baffled - The Colts defense had enough and began to step up as Indianapolis would then come up with one of the game's few big plays on defense, as Gary Brackett stopped Perry on a 4th-and-1 from the Colts' 27-yard line.

However, Colts take the drive into the 4th quarter with Hunter Smith making his first appearance in the game as Colts were forced to punt.


On Cincinnati's next offensive set, Palmer would be picked off by #28 rookie cornerback, Marlin Jackson in Indy territory, giving the Colts another scoring chance.

AP Photo/Al Behrman

It was the first interception of Jackson's pro career. The Colts' first-round pick in April.

A 24-yard hookup from Manning to Stokley - again on 3rd-and-long - got Indianapolis to the Bengals 21 yard line. The Colts would eventually get to the one-yard line, but James was stopped and Deltha O'Neal broke up a potential touchdown catch by Harrison. Mike Vanderjagt would boot a 19-yard field goal with 6:16 to go for a Colts 45-33 lead.

Cincinnati would again be denied on downs on the following possession including a sack on Carson Palmer by Robert Mathis and could only manage three more points the rest of the way.


The Bengals then attempted on onside kick which Wayne fell on, and the Colts ran out the clock from there.

Jeff Swinger / Cincinnati Enquirer


"He's unbelievable. They're unbelievable." - Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer on the Peyton Manning and the Colts offense.

"I'm like, 'What are we calling?' He knows what we're in," - Bengals cornerback Deltha O'Neal on Manning

"I respect him after this game.  He's worth every penny they pay him." - Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman talking about Peyton Manning

"It just seemed that Peyton had an answer for everything. That's the most difficult game I've ever played in because they put a lot of pressure on a defense." - Bengals defensive tackle John Thornton

"Who's going to stop the Colts? There's only one team out there with that capability: The Colts themselves." - Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star - Only the team in the mirror can shatter this dream - This is an excellent column - must read


  • Harrison had five catches for 42 yards and became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 900 receptions in the career. He reached the milestone in 149 games, bettering Jerry Rice's mark of 168

  • James had a string of five straight 100-yard games stopped

  • Fletcher scored his first career NFL touchdown

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter



Dominic Rhodes 4 yd run (Mike Vanderjagt kick)
Plays: 11 | Yards: 83 | Time: 6:04



Shayne Graham 43 yd FG
Plays: 9 | Yards: 47 | Time: 4:09



Reggie Wayne 66 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Mike Vanderjagt kick)
Plays: 1 | Yards: 66



Chad Johnson 68 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick)
Plays: 3 | Yards: 89 | Time: 1:07

2nd Quarter



Bryan Fletcher 9 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Mike Vanderjagt kick)
Plays: 10 | Yards: 68 | Time: 4:11



Rudi Johnson 1 yd run (Shayne Graham kick)
Plays: 9 | Yards: 64 | Time: 4:59



Edgerrin James 1 yd run (Mike Vanderjagt kick)
Plays: 4 | Yards: 74 | Time: 2:02



Dallas Clark 21 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Mike Vanderjagt kick)
Plays: 6 | Yards: 40 | Time: 2:03



Shayne Graham 41 yd FG
Plays: 7 | Yards: 48 | Time: 2:12



Rudi Johnson 1 yd run (Shayne Graham kick)
Plays: 4 | Yards: 14

3rd Quarter



Chris Henry 15 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick)
Plays: 5 | Yards: 46 | Time: 2:08



Edgerrin James 2 yd run (Mike Vanderjagt kick)
Plays: 15 | Yards: 77 | Time: 8:23

4th Quarter



Mike Vanderjagt 19 yd FG
Plays: 10 | Yards: 55 | Time: 4:40



Shayne Graham 44 yd FG
Plays: 9 | Yards: 60 | Time: 2:26


Game 12 against STEELERS

Game 5 against 49er's

Game 11 against the Bengal's

Game 4 against Titans

Game 17 against Cardinals

Game 10 against the TEXANS again

Game 3 against Browns

Game 16 against Seahawks

Game 9 against PATRIOTS

Game 2 against Jaguars

Game 15 against Chargers

Game 8 - BYE WEEK

Game 1 against Ravens

Game 14 against Jaguars again

Game 7 against the TEXANS


Game 13 against TITANS again

Game 6 against Rams




Kickoff in Paul Brown Stadium is 4:15 p.m. (EST).

The Indianapolis Colts as we all know are undefeated, and go for a nice round 10-0 this week against a division co-leader, Cincinnati Bengal's.

Cincinnati observed its bye week last Sunday as Indianapolis enters Sunday's contest coming off a 31-17 win last Sunday at home over Houston.

The last time The Indianapolis Colts and The Cincinnati Bengal's met was October 6, 2002. A Colts victory, 28-21. At Indianapolis, Manning passed for two TDs and ran for another.

The Bengal's that halted the NFL's last big streak. The last team to go 9-0 in the NFL, Kansas City, was defeated two years ago this week (11/16/03) in Cincinnati 24-19, led by the Bengals current backup QB, Jon Kitna.

That was then, this is now. This is The High Powered, Peyton Manning with the high flying Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, slot receivers Brandon Stokley and tight end Dallas Clark furthermore Ground Pounding Edgerrin James and a Defense that don't quit Indianapolis Colts were talking about! The team has no obvious weaknesses, which is why it is 9-0.

Offensively, the teams are matched well. Colts are ranked second in the NFL, Bengals fifth. The key components of each others quarterbacking, running and rushing games are all ranked in the top 10 in the league.
Colts'  - Manning, RB Edgerrin James, and WRs Harrison and Reggie Wayne;
Bengals' - Palmer, RB Rudi Johnson and WR Johnson

The big question is Bengals defense?
 The Bengals have two talented cornerbacks in Deltha O'Neal and Tory James that should match up as well as anybody against Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. Keep an eye out for Colts' Dallas Clark, as opposing tight ends have found great success against the Bengal's defense over the past 15 years. But can the Bengals, while still trying to defend the pass, do enough to stop Edgerrin James? That is a dilemma nobody has been able to solve this season. The way to stop Peyton Manning, or at least slow him down, is to drop seven or eight men off the line in a soft zone, where you do not allow big plays. But that gives one of the hottest running backs in the NFL huge running lanes.
Give credit to the offensive line, too. Center Jeff Saturday should be considered the front-runner for the starting Pro Bowl spot.

Defensively, the Colts (No. 4 in the NFL) would seem to have the edge and are almost impossible to score against when they get a lead.  Their pass rush has just been relentless with the sack-meisters Robert Mathis (NFL-leading 9.0 sacks) and Dwight Freeney (7.0, who goes against Bengals Pro Bowl T Willie Anderson).

 Mathis has been remarkable this season. The third-year defensive end from Alabama A&M is really only a role player - a pass-rush specialist that leads the league with nine sacks.

But . . .

the Bengals lead the league in interceptions (20) and total takeaways (29) for an NFL-high take/give margin of +20. Topping the league in pickoffs is Bengal's Deltha O'Neal with six.

I believe it will be a tough game. A back and forth battle of scoring from each team . . .

oh yeah . . .

That's what I said about the Colts and Patriots game and look what happened that night!

They're the 11th team since 1970 to win their first nine games, and have a chance to become the first team since Denver in 1998 to go 10-0.

It will be the 16th club in NFL history to do so, starting with the 1929 Green Bay Packers and ending most recently with the 1998 Denver Broncos.

Standing in the Colts way is the last team to end somebody's 9-0 streak. Kansas City came to Cincinnati with the same record in 2003, receiver Chad Johnson put Cincinnati, 4-5 at the time under first-year coach Marvin Lewis, on the spot by guaranteeing a victory to the media and the Bengals got a 24-19 win that amounted to a breakthrough under coach Marvin Lewis.

Asked of Johnson if there's a guarantee win over the unbeaten Colts this year?

Chad Johnson  didn't guarantee a win like he did two years ago the Wednesday before the Bengals knocked off the 9-0 Chiefs. On this Wednesday, the AFC's leading receiver simply stated . . .

"Hold on, I've got to get my game face on," the Bengals receiver said, wiping his hand across his face. "All right, come on."

He leaned forward on his four-legged wooden stool, his eyes focused on the camera lenses.

"For the guarantee, you've got to zoom in close, because I'm about to get myself in trouble," he said, hinting that coach Marvin Lewis wouldn't like what was coming next. "I guarantee - I'm serious - I guarantee that I will not be stopped on Sunday. For real.

"I won't be covered. I will do everything I can to make sure we win this game. That's my guarantee."

That's it? That's all?

He also suggested that the Colts' cornerbacks shouldn't take it personally when he guarantees that he won't be covered very well on Sunday.

"It's just impossible," Johnson said, with a straight face. "It's not who I'm playing. It can't be done, and I've come to that conclusion. If I had to stop myself, I probably wouldn't be able to do it, either."

Chad Johnson won't guarantee a win this time. It's hard to do when no team has come close to beating the Colts in nearly two months.

For a guy who guaranteed the Bengals would beat 9-0 Kansas City in 2003 - and they did, 24-19 - this wasn't exactly an earth-shaking prediction. But there was more. With Johnson, whose appetite for headlines is insatiable, there's always more.

He profusely praised the Colts, saying the Bengals' receivers would be challenged because Indianapolis' defense is so technically sound. If that's the case, why say he can't be stopped?

"Because it's impossible," Johnson said. "It's not about who we're playing. It can't be done. I've come to that conclusion. If I had to stop myself, I probably wouldn't be able to do it, either."

Johnson pointed to the list of cornerbacks in his locker. The next victim? Marlin Jackson (6-0, 196), the Colts' biggest corner. Starters Nick Harper (5-10, 182) and Jason David (5-8, 172) are tiny, but talented.

"It wouldn't matter if they were tall or big," Johnson said. "They're going to get exploited. I wouldn't care what (scheme) they play. It's going to get exploited. I don't care what they do. They're not going to stop 85 or the crew.

"We have a great opportunity to stop that (9-0) streak. This game is going to go down in history, man. This isn't a football game. This is a historical event getting ready to happen."

As Johnson calls Sunday's game against Indianapolis an "historical event," in one respect, he hopes history doesn't repeat itself.

On Oct. 6, 2002, at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, the Bengals were driving for a game-tying touchdown when quarterback Jon Kitna's second-down pass from the Colts' 35-yard line ricocheted off Johnson's shoulder pads at the 14, and into safety Idrees Bashir's hands with 0:23 remaining, preserving the Colts' 28-21 victory.

Johnson, who had slumped to the dome's artificial turf, was inconsolable afterward.

When Chad Johnson speaks, the Indianapolis Colts laugh. They don't worry about the Cincinnati wide receiver's playful remarks, guarantees or even his choreographed celebrations. Instead, they're amused. But the Colts do have one item on their to-do list this week: keeping The Mouth quiet Sunday when the NFL's last unbeaten team visits Cincinnati

Extended forecast for Cincinnati
(as of 11/18/2005):


Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s. Southwest winds around 5 mph.

 Sunday Night

 Partly Cloudy

Lo: 35° 

 Partly cloudy in the evening . . . Then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. West winds around 5 mph.

The prospect of the Indianapolis Colts becoming the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to run the table in the regular season is the talk of the NFL.

Everywhere, that is, except within the Colts' organization.

What matters is winning enough games - whatever that magic number turns out to be - to:

  • Secure the AFC South title, which will guarantee a sixth playoff appearance in the past seven seasons.

  • Clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC, which assures a first-round postseason bye and second- and third-round home games.

An undefeated season certainly will enable the Colts to achieve each of their primary objectives. But it's those objectives, not a 16-0 record, that are foremost on the team's mind as it prepares for Sunday's I-74 showdown with Cincinnati.

Read Full Story
by By Mike Chappell



November 20
1:00 PM




















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