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Sunday, December 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Indianapolis Colts

By Mike Wells


CINCINNATI -- A few thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts' 42-28 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

What it means: The game started to change for the Colts when Adam Vinatieri missed a 44-yard field goal following their best drive of the first half. It really changed for them in the final 74 seconds of the first half. Indianapolis thought it stopped the Bengals on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line when defensive tackle Josh Chapman appeared to trip running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The officials originally ruled that it was the Colts' ball. But they went to the review booth and Jeff Triplette reversed the call to put the Bengals up 14-0. Cincinnati received the ball at the start of the third quarter and drove down the field with ease to score again and go up 21-0. The Colts got to as close as 21-14 before the Bengals pulled away. The loss dropped the Colts to the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoff standings.

Still no ground game: I know it's surprising, but quarterback Andrew Luck was the Colts' best rusher. He led Indianapolis with 32 yards on only two carries. Donald Brown and Trent Richardson combined to rush for 31 yards on 10 carries. The Colts finished with 63 yards, marking the fifth time in the past eight games that they failed to gain at least 100 yards in a game.

Play at receiver: Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who has been a disappointment this season, finally had his snaps reduced. Da'Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill were happy to step up for him. Rogers caught his first touchdown pass of the season when he bounced off two Cincinnati defenders and scored on a 69-yard catch and run. Brazill topped Rogers on their next possession when he shook off six -- yes, six -- Bengals defenders on a 19-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Brazill and Rogers both added a second touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Rogers had a drop on third down that would have been a first down when the Colts were trying to get back in the game in the fourth quarter. Rogers had six catches for 107 yards. Brazill added three catches for 53 yards. And for those wondering about Heyward-Bey, he had two catches for 23 yards and a dropped pass that would have given the Colts a first down.

What's next: The Colts return to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Houston Texans, who fired coach Gary Kubiak last week, on Dec. 15.