First Quarter Recap
The Colts won the toss and chose to receive.
Considering the stakes of this one, the Colts put together arguably their best opening drive of the season to start their Wild Card matchup. Boom Herron accounted for 58 of the Colts 71 yards on the touchdown series. It was Herron punching it in from two yards out to give the Colts an early 7-0 lead.
After a reverse got the Bengals 23 yards to start their first possession, the Indy defense held tough. Jeremy Hill finished the first drive with 14 rushing yards on four carries and the Bengals had to punt after crossing midfield.
With the Colts backed up in their own territory, a three-and-out would follow. T.Y. Hilton got behind the Bengals secondary for a second time in the first quarter but couldn't bring in a third-down pass.
Cincinnati got on the board on its next drive with an impressive nine-play, 74-yard series. With a solid dose of Jeremy Hill and a key third-down catch from Rex Burkhead, the Bengals scored on Hill's one-yard touchdown run. That tied the score at seven with 1:28 left in the first quarter.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied at 7.Second Quarter Recap
After five targets without a catch, the Colts finally got T.Y. Hilton involved. With two catches for 48 yards from Hilton the Colts moved into field goal range. Adam Vinatieri knocked home a 38-yarder to give the Colts a 10-7 lead early in the second. The field goal was the 52nd postseason make for the future Hall of Famer.
The Colts defense forced their first three-and-out of the game on the next possession.
With some momentum, the Colts offense hit on a chunk play. Postseason veteran Hakeem Nicks made a terrific 45-yard grab to push the Colts deep into Bengals territory. However, a third-down drop by T.Y. Hilton led to another Adam Vinatieri field goal. The Colts now led 13-7 with 8:34 to go in the second quarter.
Cincinnati continued to try and establish Jeremy Hill (nine carries for 37 yards) but could not turn that into points. An errant throw from Andy Dalton on third down forced another Bengals punt, backing the Colts up inside their own 10-yard line.
A promising Colts drive looked like it could lead to a two-score lead at intermission. However, Boom Herron fumbled just inside the two-minute warning and the Bengals recovered it.
The Bengals would capitalize with a 57-yard field goal from Mike Nugent bouncing in off the left upright.
At halftime, the Colts led the Bengals 13-10.Third Quarter Recap
With the ball to start the second half, the Bengals produced a three-and-out thanks to some nice coverage from Greg Toler and key third-down pressure from rookie Jonathan Newsome.
The Colts would also punt on their opening quarter drive with Pat McAfee booming a 68-yarder to back the Bengals up.
Leading 13-10, the Colts offense hit on another huge chunk play. With Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap wrapped around his legs, Andrew Luck hit rookie Donte Moncrief in stride for a 36-yard touchdown. The Colts now led 20-10 with ample momentum.
Needing some sort of drive ending with points, the Bengals offense continued to struggle. Another three-and-out from the Bengals offense included a great open field stop from Jerrell Freeman.
The Colts would add to their 10-point lead with a 22-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri.
Another Bengals three-and-out would follow and the Colts would take over to start the fourth quarter.
At the end of the third quarter, the Colts led the Bengals 23-10.Fourth Quarter Recap
The right leg of Adam Vinatieri proved to still have plenty of distance at the age of 42. Vinatieri drilled home a 53-yard field goal to give the Colts a 26-10 lead with just over 11 minutes remaining.
Cincinnati finally got their initial first down of the second half on this drive but the series would go nowhere. Another punt allowed the Colts to go into their "four-minute offense" mode.
Indianapolis would eventually have to punt but the Bengals offense could not muster any serious threat. Andy Dalton was stripped by Jerrell Freeman, putting the exclamation point on the Colts 26-10 Wild Card win.
The Colts will now travel to Denver on Sunday (1/11) for a 4:40 p.m. EST kickoff in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Colts Inactives 25-Jalil Brown
Colts Pre-Game Notes
-With a win today, the Colts will head to Denver next Sunday for a 4:40 p.m. EST kick in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.Roof Update
-With the feel of winter in the air to start 2015, the roof is closed at Lucas Oil Stadium.