From all appearances, I would venture to say that the Indianapolis Colts are back to their old ways; anyone who disagrees with that statement hasn’t been paying attention to what the Colts have been doing the past 5 weeks. In Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback Peyton Manning made mincemeat of the Bengals’ secondary as he threw for 3 touchdowns, leading Indianapolis to the easy 35-3 win over Cincinnati at Lucas Oil Field.
It was all Indianapolis beginning from the 0:36 mark of the first quarter when running back Dominic Rhodes scored on a 17-yard run, giving the Colts the early 7-0 lead. The Bengals would respond with a 19-yard field goal by kicker Shayne Graham, narrowing the gap to 7-3 with 6:08 left in the first half. But Indianapolis answered back with a Manning-to-Marvin Harrison 5-yard TD pass, increasing their lead to 14-3 – which would be their lead going into halftime.
Manning would direct the Colts on two more long TD drives, the first capped by a Manning-to-Antohny Gonzalez 2-yard TD pass at the 6:15 mark of the third period while the second TD drive was punctuated by a Manning-to-Dallas Clark TD pass with 2:22 left in the period, further padding Indianapolis’ cushion to 28-3. The Colts defense even got into the scoring column as cornerback Kelvin Hayden did a pick-6, returning an interception back 85 yards for the touchdown with 5:02 remaining in the game, extending their lead to 35-3; as one might have guessed by now, the Bengals wouldn’t recover.
Manning had a sterling performance, going 26-of-32 for 277 yards and 3 TD’s while the Bengals’ Ryan Fitzpatrick went 18-of-26 for 170 yards and 2 interceptions; rookie QB Jordan Palmer relieved Fitzpatrick, going 4-of-6 for 30 with an INT. The Colts were led in rushing by Rhodes as he ran for 31 yards with a score while Joseph Addai rushed 10 times for 26 yards; Cedric Benson led all Bengals’ rushers with 57 yards on 16 carries.
Harrison led the Colts receivers with 3 receptions for 78 yards and a TD while reserve tight end Gijon Robinson caught 6 passes for 69 yards; Clark and Gonzalez had a TD reception apiece. Chad Johnson (Ocho Cinco?) led the Cincinnati receivers with 5 receptions for 79 yards while T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught 8 passes for 75 yards. Indianapolis (9-4) plays again on Sunday when they host the Detroit Lions while Cincinnati (1-11) makes the trip back home to host the Washington Redskins – also on Sunday.