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Matchups to Watch: Week 14 @Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Gus Bradley vs. Jake Browning

Gus Bradley has managed to turn around a defense that was desperately missing Grover Stewart, and that was leaking points and yards left and right. Now getting Grover and Julius Brents will be huge for this defense, as they prepare to go up against Joe Burrow’s backup, Jake Browning. Browning had a good game against the Jaguars, and did not look nearly as bad as expected, might be he is settling more and more into his starting role.

Grover Stewart vs. Joe Mixon

The Bengals’ running game has not worked well this season, but Mixon did manage to score twice last week against the Jags. The Colts get their most important run defender back and ready for making up for lost time, on a crucial game where not allowing the Bengals to put the ball on the ground is a must. Forcing the game into Browning’s hands is the key for the defense on Sunday.

Jaylon Jones / Julius Brents vs. Ja’Marr Chase / Tee Higgins

This is where the game will be decided on in my opinion, as the Colts will be getting rookie standout Julius Brents back from injury, and at the best possible time going up against Chase and Higgins. Jaylon Jones struggled last week and it remains to be seen how the snaps will be divided between the rookie duo and Darrell Baker Jr. Browning really likes to throw the ball to Chase, and he is the one guy who can really hurt the Colts with explosive plays.

DeForest Buckner vs. Cordell Volson

Buckner has been playing amazing football even without Grover Stewart eating up double teams next to him, and now with his sidekick back he is even more dangerous. Bengals’ left guard Cordell Volson has been the weak link of their line this year, and a matchup the Colts should be looking to exploit.

Bernhard Raimann / Braden Smith vs. Trey Hendrickson

The one player I am worried about the Bengals on defense is Trey Hendrickson, whose 60 pressures rank in the top 10 among edge rushers this season, and he leads their team by a mile in pass-rushing production. Raimann and Smith have been really good for the Colts this season, and with Minshew still a bit frightened in the pocket keeping Hendrickson of him will be really important. Keep an eye out for D.J. Reader pressuring from the inside.