Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


Opening thoughts: Bengals 34 Colts 14

Photo: Getty Images

Opening thoughts: Bengals 34 Colts 14

Jake Browning tossed two TDs and rushed for another as the Bengals beat the Colts 34-14 Sunday at Paycor. The Bengals are 7-6 and alive and kicking in the AFC playoff picture. Browning threw a scare into Bengals fans when he left the game holding his thumb in the 4th quarter. But he returned, having suffered a cramp in the thumb on his throwing hand.

How it unfolded: The Bengals led 7-0 after the 1st quarter. Extended the lead to 14-0 in the 2nd quarter. Saw the Colts tie the game 14-14 at the half. But the Bengals outscored Indy 20-0 the rest of the way.

Circle the sequence: Leading 14-0 in the 2nd quarter, Trey Hendrickson’s 3rd & 14 roughing the passer penalty at the Colts 17 extended the drive 14 more snaps, almost eight more minutes and ended with a Colts 4th and goal TD pass from the 1-yard line. The Colts converted 3rd & 11, 3rd & 6 along the way. The PAT was missed. 14-6 Bengals. Two plays later a Jake Browning Pick 6 followed and the two point conversion made it 14-14 in a span of :25.

Big response: The Bengals answered the chaos of two Colts TD in :25 by marching 6 plays/75 yards for a Tanner Hudson 11-yard TD catch to open the 2nd half and take a 21-14 lead. They went 11 plays/71 yards for a TD on their next drive.

Fullback sighting! Facing 4th & 1 at Colts 4, Mixon rushed for three yards as the fullback in an I-formation with Brown. Browning capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run and a 28-14 lead.


Put up 34 points on day Ja'Marr Chase had 3 catches/29 yards

7 plays +16 yards (54-46-45-26-25-18-17)

Drive time: TD drives of 92, 72, 75 and 71 yards. 3rd quarter efficiency: 19 plays, 175 yards….. 9.2 yards per play

Browning: 18-24-275, 2 TD pass, 1-yard rush TD, 0 sacks, QB rating 122.7, Pick 6. Hung tough in the pocket. Left game with a muscle cramp in thumb early 4th quarter, but returned. Completions to eight different guys.

Run game: 32-111 (3.5).....230 total yards from backs.
Mixon 21-79-TD, 3 catches/4 targets, 46 yds, 125 total yards. Brown. 8-25, 3 catches/team best 80 yards, TD….105 total yards

Screen it! The screen game produced big results for the third straight game. Brown took a play fake/screen 54-yards for a TD to beat a blitz and had another for 25 yards. Mixon took a screen 45-yards. Previous two games: Mixon 39 yarder vs Pittsburgh and 28 yarder vs Jacksonville

Taking advantage: A personal foul on Evan McPherson’s successful 33-yard FG was turned into a Mixon 1-yard TD six plays later that made it 14-0 in the 2nd quarter, rather than 10-0.

Chase 3-29, 4 targets, long of 14.New career high in catches, passing 87 last year.
Higgins 2-72, great adjustment on 46 yard catch. Two drops. OPI wiped out TD catch from McCarron.
Hudson 11-yard TD catch, first in 41 career games. Nice leaping 3rd & 9 catch.

QB3: AJ McCarron replaced Browning for a series for his first NFL action since 2020. He was 1 for 1, -1 yards.


Colts offense: 6 points. They entered as only NFL team having scored 20 or more in 11 of 12 games.

Stout: Run defense 18-46 (2.6)...long of 12.

2 plays of +16 yards (long 24)

3rd down: 3 of 11 (27%)

Fast start: Trey Hendrickson/BJ Hill swarmed and sacked Gardner Minshew on the first snap and forced a three and out.

Big play Trey: Sack on first snap of game, 4th down sack,drew a couple of penalties, 2 QB hits, 2 tackles for loss.

No points for you! The Colts missed a 38 yard FG. They picked off Minshew at the 31 yard line. Bengals opponents have come away with no points in the red zone on nine occasions.

Settle down: Following the Hudson TD for a 21-14 lead, the defense forced a 5 play/2:08 punt. Following the Browning TD they got a three and out. Following the McPherson FG, BJ Hill came up with an INT after Hendrickson knocked Minshew pass into the air.

The other DJ: DJ Ivey forced fumble, fumble recovery, pass break up.

Special Teams

Robbins: 19 yarder? Got a big bounce after a poor punt for a 52-yarder.
Recovered a muffed Robbins punt early in the 4th quarter.
McPherson 32, 35 yard FG


Per Next Gen, Brown reached a top speed of 22.05 mph, the second-fastest play by ball carrier this season (DK Metcalf, 22.23).

Bengals had been 1-11 in their last 12 when giving up a Pick 6, per Jay Morrison

NFL teams had been 133-39 (.773) when getting a Pick 6 since 2019, per Paul Dehner Jr.

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