1) This is a deflating loss.
Cincinnati is a talented team, who, like the Colts, are trying to turn the corner. That said, not being able to win a coin-flip game at home, and one of the few (likely) games they'll be favored in, is disheartening. The Colts had plenty of opportunities, but we’re ultimately done in by two critical Red Zone turnovers.
It turns next week's game at Washington into a near must-win if Indy wants to avoid a 1-4 or 0-5 hole.
2) Andrew Luck looked sharp.
This is the most important thing of all. The Colts didn't win, but Luck showed flashes of the QB he once was and/or on track to becoming. His decision-making overall was excellent and he seemed very comfortable and confident in Frank Reich's new offense.
3) There are necessary rules and unnecessary rules in the NFL rulebook.
There are hits, like the first quarter targeting by Shawn Williams, that the NFL absolutely needs to crack down on. They're dangerous and very likely can cause injury. Then, there are ticky tack, letter-of-the-law calls which make little sense and put defensive players at a ridiculous disadvantage. The third quarter roughing call on this play is the latter. By rule, a defender is no longer allowed to put his body weight into the player he's tackling and it drew a flag:
4) Maybe the coaching staff was right about Margus Hunt
The Bengals cast-off only had 2 1/2 career sacks in a mostly disappointing five-year career, but nearly matched that total this afternoon alone. While many (including me) were surprised to see Hunt lock down one of the DE starting spots, he proved himself worthy today, albeit against a rebuilt Bengals' offensive line.
5) Third Down hope!
The Colts were 11-for-17 on third down in Game 1 of the Frank Reich Era, after hovering around 38% a season ago. That's at least some reason for hope, right? It was just nice to see the Colts look like a competent offense again, albeit in a loss.