It may seem like the world fell apart after a loss to the Cleveland Browns. The game finished within nine points, but never really felt that close. Still, the good news is that the Cleveland Browns are a very good football team this season.
The extra-good news is that this Colts team still has a very good chance at making the playoffs.
The bad news, however, is that this Colts team is going to have a difficult time advancing far in the playoffs if things keep up the way they are right now.
But, enough of that. Week 5 is over and it is time for a completely new foe in Week 6.
Staying in the AFC North, the Colts get to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are the runt of the litter in the AFC North, as currently, they’re the only team under 0.500.
The Bengals have an extremely talented rookie quarterback in Joe Burrow. Burrow has already shown toughness and poise through his first five games in the NFL. However, in Week 5, the Baltimore Ravens were the first team to really shut Burrow down. They sacked him seven times and racked up 15 QB hits for the day. If the Colts want to move to 4-2, putting pressure on Burrow is a good place to start.
Now, the moment we have all been waiting for. Here are three keys to victory for the Colts in Week 6 vs. the Bengals.
1) Run the Ball
Unfortunately in Week 5, we found out that Philip Rivers may not be able to win games by himself anymore. (Check my Week 5 preview for that.) Luckily for Rivers and the Colts, they can still be an extremely good team without that.
The Bengals give up an average of 159 yards per game on the ground. Sometimes, it is best not to overthink things. RUN THE BALL. Jonathan Taylor should have a huge game in this one, as the Colts should look to establish the run early and often to set the tone for the day.
2) Win the Turnover Battle
In Week 5, the Colts and the Browns each committed two turnovers.
The problem is, with the way the Colts play football this season, they need to win the turnover battle almost every game. They can’t be even, because their offense has not shown the ability to string together consecutive long drives against a good defense. Winning the turnover battle is important for every team in the league, but other teams can overcome it easier. I am not so sure the Colts can; at least, not right now, anyway.
3) Pressure Burrow
No rookie quarterback does well under pressure. Burrow is incredible, but he is no exception. Last week, the Ravens sacked Burrow seven times and landed 15 QB hits, forcing Burrow to his worst day as a pro so far.
The Colts have 11 sacks through five games this year. Joe Burrow has been sacked 22 times this season. Pot, meet kettle. The Colts need to put pressure on Burrow, and so far, the Bengals haven’t been able to stop anyone from getting to their young star. In Week 6, that needs to be the case again if the Colts are to come away with a win.
(Featured Image Credit: Colts.com)