Here are some other things to watch Sunday:
Last year, after engineering the second-biggest comeback in postseason history, Luck spent the offseason pondering how to reduce turnovers. He blamed himself for throwing three interceptions that helped put Indy in a 28-point deficit against Kansas City,Wholesale China Jerseys
, and then threw four more picks the next week in a 43-22 loss at New England.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck and Andy Dalton have similar achievements listed on their resumes — and similar glaring holes,http://www.soccerpro.us.com/Arsenal-FC/
On Sunday, the two young quarterbacks get another chance to fill in some of those gaps when the Colts and Bengals meet in a wild-card round game.
Each made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Each has three straight seasons with double-digit wins. Neither has missed the playoffs, and both understand their legacies will be determined by postseason successes and failures.
CLEAN-UP CREW: The Colts' biggest problems over the last six weeks have been turnovers (15) and penalties (41), but they got things cleaned up in the regular-season finale at Tennessee. It was the first time Indy played turnover-free since Nov. 3, and drew only four penalties. Replicating that performance could go a long way in determining whether they advance or are one and done.
LINE DANCE: Indy's offensive line isn't even close to full strength. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus went on injured reserve earlier this week with groin, hip and shoulder injuries. Right guard Hugh Thornton (shoulder) has been ruled out. A.Q. Shipley, who started at left guard in Week 17,NFL Jerseys China
, is doubtful with an ankle injury,Jerseys NFL Wholesale China
, too. But after using 10 starting combinations this season, coach Chuck Pagano doesn't expect a drop-off.
After directing one of the greatest one-season turnarounds in NFL history in 2012, Luck came up short against eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore in the first round of the playoffs.
LIFE WITHOUT A.J.: The Bengals announced Saturday that receiver A.J. Green won't play because of a concussion. How much of an impact could Green's absence have? When the four-time Pro Bowler missed the first Colts game with an injured right big toe, the offense went nowhere in a 27-0 loss. The Bengals need Plan B to work out better this time.
"Winning in general is how quarterbacks are judged," Dalton said. "If you win a lot in the regular season but you haven't won a lot in the postseason,Wholesale Jerseys China
, then they're going to say that you couldn't do something."
"I don't think just getting to the playoffs has ever been good enough in this building," Luck said this week.
GIVE IT TO HILL: One major change in Cincinnati's offense since the last game has been the emergence of rookie running back Jeremy Hill. He had only four carries at Indy. Since then, he's become the starter and produced four games with at least 140 yards. If he has a big game this weekend, it'll take a lot of pressure off Dalton.
If Dalton ends that misery, he might finally silence the critics.
Dalton's postseason problems are just as obvious.
MORE POSTSEASON MISERY: Dalton's isn't the only Bengal trying to avoid a history-making loss. Coach Marvin Lewis can tie Marty Schottenheimer, Jim Mora and Steve Owen for most consecutive playoff losses (six) among coaches in NFL history. Lewis also can tie Mora for most consecutive playoff losses to start a career, and tie Owen for most consecutive playoff losses with one team. Cincinnati also can become the first team in league history to lose opening-round playoff games in four straight seasons.
The Colts' franchise quarterback learned his lesson the hard way.
History is not on the Bengals' side, either. Cincinnati (10-5-1) is 0-6 in road playoff games, has lost seven straight in Indy and hasn't won in the playoffs since January 1991.
Now Luck is eager to prove two-time AFC South champion Indianapolis (11-5) is ready to take another big step.
In three playoff games, all losses, he's thrown one touchdown pass, six interceptions and accumulated a passer rating of 56.2. Another defeat would put Dalton in a tie with Warren Moon for most consecutive opening-round playoff losses by a quarterback.
"I think we're built for the playoffs," left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "I think we have a defense that can play really well against really good quarterbacks,Wholesale Soccer Jerseys
, and an offense that can pound the football and kind of march down the field tha