2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things we know from Colts, Bengals in preseason

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:09

CINCINNATI (AP) - Andy Dalton felt good after his only pass was completed and his only drive ended in a touchdown.

The Colts? They just wanted to get off the field without getting hurt.

Cincinnati's 27-10 victory over Indianapolis in the final preseason game Thursday night sent both teams into their final days of roster cutting with a reason to feel good about how they stack up overall.

---

Five things we know about the Colts after the preseason:

1. THE 3-4 WORKS: Coach Chuck Pagano wanted the Colts' defense to start looking more like the Ravens. After two years of tinkering, the Colts finally appear to have it right. The Giants went 0 for 4 in red-zone possessions and settled for four field goals in Week 2, and Cleveland managed only two field goals and didn't even get into the red zone in Week 3.

2. STRONG SECONDARY: Indianapolis has bulked up in the secondary, and it's made a difference. Vontae Davis and Greg Toler played like a solid cornerback combination. With Pro Bowler safeties Antoine Bethea and LaRon Landry behind them, Indianapolis now has two of the league's better tacklers, too.

3. PATIENCE UP FRONT: Indianapolis signed two starting offensive linemen as free agents and drafted two more linemen. After four preseason games, the group is still a work in progress. Part of the problem has been injuries. It takes time for a line to jell, and the Colts will be watching to see if this group improves over time.

4. RUN, RUN, RUN: Indianapolis hired Pep Hamilton to install a power-running game. It had some problems in the preseason, but the Colts showed they're committed to the philosophy. Getting Ahmad Bradshaw back from injury should help. Indianapolis also should be helped by the expected return of tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener for the season opener. When they're at full strength, the Colts' ground game could look much more efficient.

5. GOOD LUCK: Andrew Luck has shown no signs of a sophomore slump. Rather, he heads into the season with more confidence and more at ease than he was a year ago when he produced one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history. The new offense may limit some of Luck's numbers, but at this point, Indy's franchise quarterback appears to be ahead of where he was in 2012.

---

Five things we know about the Bengals:

1. DALTON'S READY: Much of their focus is on developing a diversified passing game around their third-year quarterback. He completed 66 percent of his passes in the preseason, using every available receiver. He wanted to finish the preseason sharp and did so, completing his only pass for 18 yards to Mohamed Sanu while leading a touchdown drive on Thursday night.

2. JOHNSON CAN SCOOT: One of their few significant decisions at the end of camp involves the backup quarterback spot. Josh Johnson and John Skelton opened camp competing for Bruce Gradkowski's spot. Both struggled at the outset. Johnson missed some open, short passes. Skelton, who had never run a West Coast offense, was slower to pick it up. Johnson made the biggest impact with his ability to scramble. He ran twice on Thursday for 38 yards during a touchdown drive. Overall, he ran 12 times for 143 yards.

``It's an advantage that I have that I can bring to the game,'' Johnson said. ``I just wanted to be able to show these coaches and this organization everything I can do on the field.''

3. EIFERT CAUGHT ON FAST: Tight end Tyler Eifert, their first-round pick from Notre Dame, caught just about everything thrown his way during training camp. A wrist injury limited him at the end. But his ability to run routes and use his 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame to his advantage made an impression. Look for Dalton to find him often.

4. GIO HAS BIG THINGS AHEAD: Second-round pick Giovani Bernard is technically the second-string running back behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but he's going to be on the field a lot. His ability to catch a short pass and make defenders miss brings a new element to an offense that's been overly dependent upon A.J. Green the last two seasons.

5. ONE PLAY CAN CHANGE A LOT: When Green bruised his left knee during the first day of training camp, practice stopped and everything looked like their worst nightmare had happened. As it turned out, Green was able to return for the third preseason game and looked fine. Although the Bengals have their deepest roster during coach Marvin Lewis' 11 seasons, Green is the one player who can take the offense to a different level.

---

AP Sports Writer Michael Marot in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeAndre HopkinsNov 23 09:33p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins posted five receptions for 39 yards in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He is now over 100 receptions for the first time in his career.

Jorvorskie LaneNov 23 09:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers FB Jorvorskie Lane (ankle) was carted off in the second quarter of the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears due to what head coach Lovie [ More ]

Mike EvansNov 23 09:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans had three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears. He has now scored at [ More ]

Ryan MallettNov 23 09:33p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) suffered a pectoral injury in the Week 12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he will go for an MRI. He might miss [ More ]

A.J. GreenNov 23 09:22p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green posted a career-high 12 receptions for 121 yards in Week 12 against the Houston Texans. 'It's just one of those days when you just [ More ]

Andre SmithNov 23 09:22p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (triceps) suffered a partially torn triceps muscle in the Week 12 against the Houston Texans. He will go for an MRI Monday, Nov. 24.

T Y HiltonNov 23 08:02p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton was up early Sunday, Nov. 23, for the birth of his daughter, and he promised a touchdown. After his wife delivered their child, he [ More ]

Eddie LacyNov 23 08:02p

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (illness) ran 25 times for 125 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Minnesota Vikings, and he added two [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 23 08:02p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck completed 21 of his 32 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also ran eight times [ More ]

Charles JohnsonNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson had three receptions for a team-high 52 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Greg JenningsNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings (rib) had four receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers, his former team. It [ More ]

C. PattersonNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle, knee) left the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers due to ankle and knee injuries.

LeGarrette BlountNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount carried 12 times for a team-high 78 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions after re-signing with the team this week.

Golden TateNov 23 06:52p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate had four receptions for 97 yards in Week 12 against the New England Patriots. He went over 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career.

Jonas GrayNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray did not play in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions after he did not report to the team's facility Friday, Nov. [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright played a season-high 60 snaps in Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, which shattered his previous best of 21 snaps, which he hit [ More ]

Kendall WrightNov 23 06:23p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright was limited to just one catch for 28 yards in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That catch did not come until 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Isaiah CrowellNov 23 06:12p

The Cleveland Browns have 14 rushing touchdowns this season, which is the most by the franchise since it had 14 in the 1989 season. The team had just four [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerNov 23 06:12p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger completed 20 of his 39 pass attempts for a career-high 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Week 12 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brian HoyerNov 23 05:02p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer completed 23 of his 40 pass attempts for 322 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions in the Week 12 win against the Atlanta Falcons.

Josh GordonNov 23 05:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon posted eight receptions for 120 yards in his regular season debut in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons. He was targeted a game-high 16 times in the win.

Isaiah CrowellNov 23 05:02p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell carried 12 times for game-high 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Week 12 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

LeSean McCoyNov 23 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy carried 21 times for 130 yards and a rushing touchdown in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, and he added one reception for just one yard.

Mark SanchezNov 23 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez completed 30 of his 43 pass attempts for 307 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the Week 12 win against the Tennessee Titans.

Darren SprolesNov 23 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles carried six times for 25 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, and he added three receptions for 14 yards.

Dwayne AllenNov 23 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) is inactive Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Trent WilliamsNov 23 12:32p

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (ankle, knee) is not expected to play in Week 12 because of his injuries.

Danny LansanahNov 23 12:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah is moving from strongside linebacker to weakside linebacker in place of LB Lavonte David (hamstring). LB Orie Lemon will start at strongside linebacker.

Greg JenningsNov 23 11:52a

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings (rib) is active for the team's Week 12 game.

Blidi Wreh-WilsonNov 23 11:52a

The Tennessee Titans have declared CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, QB Charlie Whitehurst, WR Kris Durham, CB Marqueston Huff, TE Richard Gordon, DL Ropati Pitoitua, OT Will Svitek inactive for Week 12.

Arian FosterNov 23 11:42a

The Houston Texans have declared RB Arian Foster, WR DeVier Posey, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Kareem Jackson, LB Max Bullough, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 12.

Andre BranchNov 23 11:42a

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, LB Jeremiah George, WR Mike Brown, OT Sam Young, RB Storm Johnson, CB Teddy Williams, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 12.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group