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One Preview: Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck might just light it up

One reliable preview. One key factor to decide the game. It's that simple.

Air & Ground matchup of Week 7

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS) -- Last time on Colts vs. Bengals ... Andy Dalton threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Bengals defeated the Colts, 42-28, in Week 14 of last season. Dalton and Andrew Luck -- the Colts' rising star of a quarterback -- combined to throw for 601 yards and seven touchdowns. Can we expect similar fireworks when the two teams meet Sunday?

Take a look at the team stat leader page over on, and you'll notice something. It's the Colts, and they lead the NFL in total offense and passing yards per game. That's not all, the Bengals own the NFL's fifth-rated offense in terms of yards per game. Another big team statistical category -- yards allowed per game on defense -- isn't a good one for the Bengals, who rank 28th. The Bengals were supposed to be good on defense (they had the league's third-ranked total defense in 2013. Perhaps losing defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to the Minnesota Vikings has been more damaging than expected.

Also noteworthy is the Bengals' woes playing in Indianapolis. The Bengals haven't won in Indy since 1997, when Boomer Esiason and Jeff Blake were the team's quarterbacks, Jim Harbaugh, Paul Justin and Kelly Holcomb were the quarterbacks for the Colts, and the Internets looked like this.

One common goal

Each team has its sights set on reaching Super Bowl XLIX. The Bengals and Colts entered the 2014 season with expectations to contend for AFC playoff spots, and the results so far would indicate the two teams are primed for runs at the playoffs, with each currently leading their respective divisions.

Great Moments in Air & Ground History

Colts 45, Bengals 37 (Week 11 of 2005 season) -- The Colts and Bengals were steamrolling toward division titles, but it was Indianapolis that was making the champagne-popping members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins a little bit nervous. With this win, the Colts started 10-0 and would get to 13-0 before losing two games, winning the season finale to finish 14-2, and then (predictably?) crashing out in the playoffs against the wild-card Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers, you might recall, wiped out the Bengals in the AFC playoff's first round. In this Week 11 shootout, Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer helped light up the scoreboard with five combined touchdown passes. On the ground, Colts running back Edgerrin James and the Bengals' Rudi Johnson each had a pair of touchdown runs.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.


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