JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 09: Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the the Cincinnati Bengals sets for play against the Jacksonville Jaguars October 9, 2011 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bengals won 30 - 20. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The Cincinnati Bengals could be a surprising 4-2 if they can beat the Indianapolis Colts this week.
The Indianapolis Colts are racing toward a big win in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Last week, Curtis Painter et al proved unable to hold off a Chiefs rally that kept them without a win through five games. Running back Joseph Addai is out this week, leaving an already thin offense without one of its top players.
Cincinnati's defense ranks among the league's best. The Bengals have quietly played some tough football, and have the chance to be 4-2 after this week. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green give the offense a bright future and just enough power to win games combined with that defense.
Speaking of Dalton, Peter King reminds us that the Colts had him ranked pretty high on their draft board. Ironic that King now predicts Dalton to beat the Colts this week.
Last spring, Colts coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen spent a day with TCU quarterback Andy Dalton in Fort Worth. Worked him out. Interviewed him. Put him up on the board. Had a meal with him. "Good leadership qualities and a good player," Caldwell said this week. "We were impressed with him." So much so that the Colts might have taken him in the second round as the long-term Peyton Manning heir if the Bengals hadn't beaten them to it. If the Colts had drafted Andy Dalton instead of Anthony Castonzo in the first round last spring, I'd be reversing this score.