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Bengals return to 'scene of the crime' against Colts

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The Bengals haven't won a playoff game in 23 seasons. No team in the NFL has suffered longer without success in January.

To end that ugly trend, Cincinnati is tasked with returning to Indianapolis to face a Colts team that wiped them out 27-0 in Week 7.

Stymied from the start in that debacle, the Bengals -- minus Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Green -- were held to a season-low 32 yards on the ground against a Colts defense that stacked the box from wire to wire. With Green currently battling a concussion, will Sunday's wild-card showdown be any different?

"We have a team that runs the football. We have an identity," Bengals play-caller Hue Jackson said this week, per The Cincinnati Enquirer. "There's a much different mindset. And there should be. There should be a mindset that has some confidence."

The difference this time around? Jeremy Hill.

With three straight 100-yard outings, the Bengals rookie runner has defied his pre-draft type-casting as a solely between-the-tackles hammer. Instead, Hill has shown speed to edge, fine cutting ability and tantalizing tackle-breaking skills.

With four games of 140-plus yards since Week 9, Hill has blown up down the stretch to give the Bengals an anchor on offense beyond the skittish play of quarterback Andy Dalton. For a Colts squad that has allowed more than 100 rushing yards in four consecutive games, we've pegged Hill vs. this front seven as Sunday's matchup to watch.

"Man, there were a lot of problems," Bengals safety Reggie Nelson said of the Week 7 disaster. "We got beat and they got the best of us, so it's always good going back to a stadium, back to the scene of the crime."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews this weekend's four Wild-Card matchups and predicts who will advance. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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