COLTS-BENGALS PREVIEW

The Colts host the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium.

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A Capsule Look at the Colts' Sunday Showdown against the Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals (2-6) vs. Indianapolis Colts (5-3) Sunday, November 14, 2010 (1:00 p.m. ET) Lucas Oil Stadium (63,000 capacity) – Indianapolis, Indiana Television/Radio: CBS Sports and 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM 97.1

THE GAMEThere are 34 players in NFL history who have more than 10,000 career receiving yards.

Eight of those players are still currently in the NFL.

Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium, three of those receivers will be on the field.

And while the Bengals' Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens and the Colts' Reggie Wayne all have had productive careers, and though there are many similarities between the three, there are differences as well.

"Reggie is one of those unusual guys, I think, who lets his play speak for him," Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. "He's not one of those guys that necessarily tries to bring attention to himself by any sort of bravado or things of that nature. He is very comfortable with who he is. He is not one that needs you, me or anybody else to tell him how good he is. He knows. He works at it. He is one of those throwbacks that works extremely hard in practice, a guy that you can count on. You talk about dependability, Reggie, I think, encompasses all of those things that we value in a top flight player."

Ochocinco and Owens are more emotional than Wayne on the field during the game.

"That's just their personalities," Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said. "It doesn't rub me the wrong way. I don't want anybody to not act like themselves. In order to play well, you have to be you and not try to be somebody else. Chad is extremely emotional. Terrell is extremely emotional. But it's the right kind of emotion. They want the ball in their hands, and they want to win football games, and we're best when the ball gets to their hands. I love their passion and fire for the game. It causes tension, but in every relationship there is tension. The important thing is, and I always stress it with them, is communication, just talking about it, figuring out why this happened, why this didn't happen, figure out how to improve and move on and make it happen the right way the next time."

Palmer has played with Ochocinco his entire career—they rank third among active QB-WR duos with 42 touchdowns—and the two have a relationship that is often misunderstood, according to Palmer.

"With Chad and I, perception has never been reality," Palmer said. "People have always kind of painted us to not be friends and not get along and be enemies, and that's never been the case. Chad and I get along great. We work together great. We go through ups-and-downs and arguments and we're kind of a love-and-hate relationship, but the important thing is that he and I always discuss things. When he is upset or mad, we talk. When things are great, we talk. It's definitely up-and-down, but at the end of the day, it always ends up because we always talk about things. We don't let things sit and fester inside and build up when we're frustrated or mad. We have great communication, and we get along great."

Good communication is key for any successful quarterback-receiver relationship, but Colts quarterback Peyton Manning says the key to success for Wayne, former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison and most great receivers like Ochocinco and Owens can be traced back to the practice field.

"I was always appreciative of those guys," Manning said. "Not only did they produce on the field, but they showed up every day in practice. They practiced every single day. That's why they produced on the field. I always thought Marvin was a great example for Reggie that you have to practice every day. Hopefully, all of our younger guys can learn that from Reggie, as well. I kind of wish more guys could have seen Marvin working with us. He always practiced full speed, every single day, and Reggie has done the same thing. I can't get into the comparisons, but there is no question that those guys have been as productive as anybody at wide receiver."

CAREER TOTALS OF WAYNE, OCHOCINCO AND OWENS
PLAYER                RECEPTIONS YARDS    TDS
Reggie Wayne 736 10,117 66
Chad Ochocinco 724 10,425 64
Terrell Owens 1,061 15,721 151

FOCUS ON THE COLTS
Quick passes. Rollout the quarterback. Run the ball. Double teams. Triple teams.

Those are the solutions opposing offenses come up with when getting ready to face Colts defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.

And unfortunately for the offense, those options do not always work either, which is why Palmer, as Caldwell likes to say, is breaking it down to the lowest common denominator.

"Get rid of the ball," Palmer said. "You look at the film and their moves, their get-off on the snap, the intensity they are playing with and how well they compliment each other, it's just a fast, quick, difficult, difficult defensive line to play against when they are at home."

Palmer, who has been sacked 14 times in eight games this season, said when facing the Colts defensive ends, you cannot afford to hold on to the ball and look downfield because if you do, they will probably find you before you find an open receiver.

"If you sit back there in the pocket and hold on to the ball and wait for things to come open, they are going to get to you," Palmer said. "It doesn't matter how great your offensive line is because they are great. Both of them are. Freeney gets a lot of the attention, but Mathis is explosive, fast, quick and has some really nice moves. The key to these guys is getting the ball out quick. There is noise. There are issues you have in shotgun, they jump the count pretty well when you are under center. As always, the key with these guys is getting rid of the ball quick (and) not letting them make plays."

The Colts offense also helps to fluster opposing offenses, who feel they have to throw the ball to keep up with the Colts prolific offense, which is why the Bengals and most opponents hope to have success running the ball.

"With the way these guys can score on offense, you'd like to be in a position where you can run the ball a lot," Palmer said. "The reason they are so good is they get up on you early and let those guys tee off on you. So, if you can run the ball and control the clock a little bit and keep their offense off the field, that's definitely the best-case scenario which gives you the best chance to win."

But it is easier said than done according to Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis. He says the Colts defensive ends do not get enough credit for their run defense.

"They're very good, particularly inside," Lewis said. "I think they're underrated as far as playing the run goes, because they're very disruptive in the running game with their explosion and the snap of the hips, which is why they're good rushers."

But Freeney and Mathis, who have combined to record nine of the 15 double-digit sack seasons in club history, have made their living rushing the quarterback, and their success at doing so has led opposing coaches to assign multiple blockers to try to stay in their way.

"I understand that it's double-edged, if you want to call it that," Freeney said. "The success that you have in the league because you're so good at what you do demands double teams. It's great from that perspective, but it also (hurts) because you don't get those one-on-one opportunities and those big number games that you used to see. People who are students of the game understand that. You may see numbers drop, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the player is any worse. It could be multiple things, or it could be that he's getting double-teamed so the opportunities aren't there as often as they used to be."

Which is why Freeney is glad to have Mathis alongside him. When both players are in the game, he knows opposing offenses usually have to pick one on which to focus.

"It's great, because with Robert teams have to pick their poison sometimes, depending on what kind of team you have," Freeney said. "Who are you going to turn your protection to? Who are you going to double? If you decide to double both of us, then we have the advantage in coverage. We'll have more guys to cover whatever routes you're trying to run. It's great to have a guy like Robert on the other side because now you're bringing heat from both ends."

The two players have been bringing heat from both ends for many years, which is what makes them special according to their coach.

"One of the things you can look at in this league is someone has one great year, but it's when guys can put it back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back," Caldwell said. "Consistency is what counts. I think those guys have done that. They have been very consistent in terms of how they have performed each and every week, each and every year. It's because of the way they work and the way they prepare that I think makes the difference."

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BENGALS
The Bengals come into Sunday's game with a 2-6 record, but their record is deceiving as five of their six losses have come to teams with a record of .500 or better. And five of those six losses have come by fewer than eight points.

"I see a very good football team," Caldwell said. "This league, it's so tough and it's really become a matter of one play here and one play there that decides the outcome of a game. But I see a team that is talented. They are talented all across the board. I see a very good football team that we certainly have to get really prepared for this weekend."

But the defending AFC North champions know they have to start turning their close losses into wins.

"We're not playing as well as we'd like to be," Palmer said. "It's definitely been difficult, frustrating, but we're going to continue to work, continue to grind, and the job doesn't get any easier coming into (Indianapolis) and playing against that fast, quick defensive line. We're going to work hard this week and prepare and do everything that we can on Sunday."

Caldwell barely glances at the record, but sees a team that will challenge the Colts offensively and defensively.

"(They have) a big and strong offensive line that can control the line of scrimmage with an outstanding back in (Cedric) Benson and an outstanding quarterback who certainly knows the system," Caldwell said. "He's been in it for a number of years and he's got weapons to throw to in (Terrell) Owens, (Chad) Ochocinco and (Jordan) Shipley. Those guys can give you problems, and (Jermaine) Gresham (as well). I see talent coming out of their ears in that group.

"And then defensively, the same thing holds true. It's a formidable defensive front. (Domata) Peko leads the way up there, but they have guys all across the front that can get after you and put pressure on you. They have an outstanding linebacker corps with (Keith) Rivers and (Rey) Maualuga. Those guys run around and make plays for you, and then it's a very talented secondary."

For Lewis, he just wants to keep seeing improvement from his team and to correct the mistakes that cost them a win on Monday night against Pittsburgh.

"I think the challenge offensively is being able to get off to a good start and not put ourselves behind as far as down and distance in the series go," Lewis said. "Defensively, you've got to go a great job of managing the offense, the personnel (and) the recognition. You've got to play with what you have out there. Peyton (Manning) doesn't let you substitute, so you have to work through those things. Last week, we didn't play very well in the kicking game, and so that has to be a real improvement. It has to become a strength for us and something we can rely on to put us in a position to win football games, and not behind the eight-ball as we did on Monday night."

INJURY REPORT
The Colts issued Friday's game status/injury report with the following players listed as out for Sunday's game against Cincinnati: WR-Austin Collie (concussion) and DB-Bob Sanders (biceps). RB-Joseph Addai (neck) is listed as doubtful, while the following players are listed as questionable: LBs-Pat Angerer (illness), Gary Brackett (toe) and Clint Session (elbow), TEs-Brody Eldridge (rib) and Jacob Tamme (back), RB-Mike Hart (ankle), DT-Antonio Johnson (knee), OT-Charlie Johnson (back), DBs-Jerraud Powers (foot) and Justin Tryon (foot) and WR-Blair White (shoulder).

QUOTABLES
"This is the norm. The norm is not going 8-0. That is the highly unusual in that sense. I try to draw two parallels. Number one is the fact that it is such a thin line between winning and losing. It is just a couple plays here and there, and even when we were going through a stretch where we were winning a number of games in a row, I would always try and remind them, 'OK take a look. If this would have happened in this particular situation, (it) could have been a loss.' That's how you get them to focus in on the little things, the details, because those little things make a difference in the long run. For the most part the games, the way they have been unfolding, that's how they boil down. Typically, you have the ball, you are trying to drive to get into position to win or tie it with a field goal or a touchdown, or you are on defense and you are trying to stop a team from doing the same thing. That's how it boils down in this league a great majority of the time. So that's what it is always about, and so you see teams all across the board going what we are going through."
-Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell on impressing on his team that it is tough to win in the NFL.

"I've watched him a ton over time. He'll probably go down as one of the greatest ever. It's tough because you have to play against one of the greatest ever, but it's good to be in the same era because you can learn a lot. He's seeing a lot of the same coverages you are as the years go on through the league. Coverages evolve and change, so seeing how he works against certain coverages and schemes, you can pick up a lot because he does everything very well."
-Bengals QB-Carson Palmer on Colts QB-Peyton Manning.

"He represents all that is the good and right about playing professional football. I mean he plays the game the way it should be played. He's not a real vocal guy, but what he does is do a tremendous job of leading by example. That more than anything else, I think, speaks volumes. He's a playmaker, he's a steady force back there and he's dependable."
-Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell on DB-Antoine Bethea.

STORYLINES TO WATCH FOR…
1. Colts against the AFC North since NFL expansion
In 2002, with the addition of the Houston Texans, the NFL divided into eight four-team divisions.

One of those divisions is the AFC North, which consists of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

The Colts have been on a roll lately against AFC North teams, winning their last 14 regular season meetings against them.

Overall, since 2002, the Colts are 16-1 (.941) against AFC North teams in the regular season.

The Colts' only regular season loss since 2002 was a 21-10 setback at Pittsburgh on October 21, 2002.

In the series with Cincinnati, the Colts winning streak stretches back beyond 2002. The Colts have won six straight games against Cincinnati, last falling to the Bengals on November 9, 1997.

COLTS VS. THE AFC NORTH SINCE 2002
Date           Opponent        Result
11/22/09 at Baltimore W, 17-15
12/7/08 vs. Cincinnati W, 35-3
11/30/08 at Cleveland W, 10-6
11/9/08 at Pittsburgh W, 24-20
10/12/08 vs. Baltimore W, 31-3
12/9/07 at Baltimore W, 44-20
12/18/06 vs. Cincinnati W, 34-16
11/28/05 vs. Pittsburgh W, 26-7
11/20/05 at Cincinnati W, 45-37
9/25/05 vs. Cleveland W, 13-6
9/11/05 at Baltimore W, 24-7
12/19/04 vs. Baltimore W, 20-10
9/7/03 at Cleveland W, 9-6
12/15/02 at Cleveland W, 28-23
10/21/02 at Pittsburgh L, 10-28
10/13/02 vs. Baltimore W, 22-20
10/6/02 vs. Cincinnati W, 28-21

2. Colts receivers grabbing catches in bunches
The Colts have had four receivers catch 10 or more passes in a game this season, and according to ESPN.com, that ties an NFL record.

ESPN Stats & Info has found only two other teams in NFL history have four receivers with 10 or more catches in a season: The 2002 St. Louis Rams and the 1991 Buffalo Bills.

This season, Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, Jacob Tamme and Reggie Wayne have all had 10 -catch games.

Overall, the four players have combined for six 10 -catch games, and two times (Collie and Clark at Houston and Tamme and Wayne at Philadelphia) the Colts have had two players have 10 -catches in the same game. Last season, the Colts had a player with 10 receptions five times by three different players and never had a game when two players had 10 or more catches.

COLTS 10 -RECEPTION GAMES THIS SEASON Player               Opponent             Catches-Yards
Austin Collie at Houston 11-163
Dallas Clark at Houston 11-80
Austin Collie at Denver 12-171
Reggie Wayne at Jacksonville 15-196
Jacob Tamme at Philadelphia 11-108
Reggie Wayne at Philadelphia 11-83

3. Vinatieri moving up kicking ranks
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri cemented his status as one of the game's all-time clutch post-season kickers long ago, but the 15-year veteran is creeping closer and closer to the top-10 on most of the league's all-time kicking marks.

Over the past two weeks, Vinatieri has passed Al Del Greco (1,584) and Eddie Murray (1,594) to move into 12th-place for most kicking points in the NFL. He also is tied with Murray for 11th all-time with 352 field goals made. His career field goal percentage of 82.2 percent also is ranked 11th all-time.

With 1,595 points, Vinatieri needs five more points to become the 12th kicker ever to accumulate 1,600 career points.

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