Thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts’ 27-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium:
What it means: The Colts remain winless, falling to 0-6. They had a fourth-quarter chance to pull even, but Adam Vinatieri's 52-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Nate Clements. Then Reggie Nelson forced a fumble by Pierre Garcon, and the Bengals got a 35-yard touchdown return by Carlos Dunlap to pull out of range.
What I didn’t like: Tight end Dallas Clark has suffered as much as anyone without Peyton Manning. But his first-quarter fumble, when he was stripped by the Bengals, set up Cincinnati for the game’s opening touchdown and had nothing to do with the quarterback. Clark did bounce back with a nice fourth-quarter catch on the right boundary and a 1-yard TD catch.
What I liked: Delone Carter took some carries and ran with the sort of authority the Colts drafted him for, converting a couple of short-yardage situations. And Donald Brown had a nice 18-yard touchdown run on a day when the Colts ran the ball reasonably well -- totaling 94 yards and 4.1 yards a carry.
Stat of note: The Colts turned the ball over three times and didn’t take it away once.
What’s next: The Colts head for New Orleans and play a rematch of Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints aren’t far off from the team that won that game, while the Colts aren’t even a shell of the AFC champions of two seasons ago.