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Sunday, November 14, 2010
Wrap-up: Colts 23, Bengals 17

By James Walker

Here are some thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts' 23-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals:

What it means: Cincinnati loses its sixth straight game to fall to 2-7. The Bengals are a huge disappointment after winning the AFC North title last year and had hopes of making a playoff run this season. This is only the second time Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has experienced a six-game losing streak in his tenure. The previous time was in 2008 when Cincinnati finished 4-11-1.

What I liked: The Bengals kept fighting until the end and nearly pulled off a stunning comeback after recovering an onside kick. But rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham fumbled to end Cincinnati's rally. After venting his frustration last week, the Bengals made a concerted effort to get Pro Bowl receiver Chad Ochocinco the football. Ochocinco made several nice catches and finished with seven receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. He also hurt his shoulder, but showed toughness and kept playing. Gresham, minus the late fumble, had his best game of the season, recording nine catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.

What I didn't like: The Bengals got off to another ugly start and fell behind 17-0 in the first half. Quarterback Carson Palmer threw a pick-six and running back Cedric Benson fumbled, which led to early touchdowns by Indianapolis. Palmer threw three baffling interceptions that were either right to Indianapolis defenders or into plenty of coverage. The Bengals also couldn't get their running game going. Benson rushed for 24 yards on 14 carries.

What's next: After a slate of tough opponents, the schedule lightens up for one week as the Bengals host the Buffalo Bills. This is a chance for Cincinnati to finally get on the winning track again. But the Bengals can't afford to overlook any team with the way they are playing.