After looking like Super Bowl contenders earlier this season, the Indianapolis Colts continue to labor through the back half of the 2013 season. They looked bad in a 42-28 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and have now lost three of their last five.
Four touchdowns from Andrew Luck managed to keep the score respectable late into the third quarter, but the Bengals controlled the game for much of the way. A pair of one-yard touchdown runs from BenJarvus Green-Ellis helped them build a 21-0 lead by the 10:45 mark in the third quarter.
The first of Green-Ellis's touchdowns was mired in controversy. On fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Green-Ellis was initially ruled down by contact as he bounced into the end zone. But referee Jeff Triplette inexplicably overruled the call despite seemingly clear evidence that a defender had tripped up Green-Ellis by the foot.
Luck's 19-yard touchdown pass to LaVon Brazill with 6:30 remaining in the third quarter pulled them to within 21-14, but that would be as close as the Colts would get. The Bengals outscored them 21-14 from that point on.
The win improves the Bengals to 9-4, while the Colts drop to 8-5.
Fantasy studs and duds
Plenty of Bengals had big days during the offensive outburst. Andy Dalton threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns while A.J. Green caught six passes for 72 yards and a score. Giovani Bernard had 99 yards rushing, but it was Green-Ellis, who had 48 yards and two touchdowns, that got the goal line caries.
Luck had a big day, throwing for 326 yards to go along with his four touchdown passes. Da'Rick Rogers was his favorite target, going for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
Did they cover?
Cincinnati entered the game favored by seven points, according to Oddsshark.com, easily covering with the big win.
Sunday, Dec. 15, 1 p.m. ET: Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, Dec. 15, 8:30 p.m. ET: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers