The NFL's leading tackler, Vontaze Burfict (55). Also pictured, Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (93).
The Colts get their first look at the AFC North division-leading Bengals for the first time this season.
The last time the two faced off was in 2011, when the Bengals handed the Colts a 27-17 loss with Curtis Painter under center for the Colts.
Where the Bengals find success
The Bengals have a strong defense.
Even with the loss of All-Pro defensive lineman Geno Atkins for the season, the Bengals defense hasn't lost a step, holding the Ravens to just 17 points in Week 10.
Cincinnati allows just 313 yards per game (sixth-best in the league), allow opposing offenses to convert on third downs just 36 percent of the time (ninth-best in the NFL), yet they've been penalized just 43 times this season, which makes them the least penalized defense in the NFL.
Statistics like this are scary, especially for a Colts offense that has been struggling in recent weeks.
One player responsible for the defensive success in Ohio is the NFL's leading tackler, starting linebacker Vontaze Burfict. He has 118 total tackles through 11 games, and he has created two turnovers in 2013. He is going to give Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton headaches all day.
Where the Bengals struggle
The turnover battle—there weren't many noticeable issues with the Bengals other than their turnover differential.
Through 11 games, their turnover differential is minus-two, which ranks them 19th in the league.
Quarterback Andy Dalton could be a part of the issue here. Dalton has thrown 13 interceptions this year, including eight in his last three starts.
This is a huge benefit for the Colts, who currently are plus-three in the category.
The key for the Colts
They must get pressure on Andy Dalton, which will force him to make bad throws.
The Bengals have an elite defense. For the Colts to get a victory here, it all starts with the turnover battle. Luck has proven he can compete against top-tier NFL defenses, which he showed against the Seahawks and 49ers earlier this season, but he will need plenty of support on the other side of the ball.
Everything about this matchup implies that the Bengals should be the favorite, especially with the struggles of the Colts offense. But if there is one thing that this season has taught us, it is not to count Andrew Luck out against the NFL's best teams. Look for this one to be a battle with an exciting finish in the fourth quarter.