• August 15, 2022

Playoff Preview: Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

The 2012 NFL Playoffs kick off Saturday when The Cincinnati Bengals visit Texas, and the Houston Texans. Cincinnati finished ( 9-7 ) and needed help to get in while Houston ( 10-6 )  took advantage of a banged up division and earned the number three seed despite having a walking mash unit of their own with key injuries up and down their roster.

The two teams squared off less then a month ago with Houston walking into Paul Brown Stadium and walking out with a dramatic 20-19 victory. Both teams started rookie quarterbacks that day as will be the case this week. This will mark the first time in NFL History that two rookie quarterbacks have faced each other in the playoffs.

I just got finished watching their first meeting over again and I broke it down to a few key factors that I believe will determine the outcome this weekend.

1)       Which Quarterback will get that all important playoff victory under his belt ?

Quickly I think of Mark Sanchez when this question came into my mind. Sanchez began his career with road playoff victories against two of the NFL all time greats. He went into New England and Indianapolis and came away with victories over Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Nobody can take those victories away from him; but since then Sanchez has not been able to get them to the big game and I say has digressed to the point where I think the Jets should consider a move.

Andy Dalton has had a very impressive rookie campaign. He has quickly turned around a franchise that has struggled for the better part of two decades. Dalton threw for 3,398 yards and 20 Touchdowns. He has overachieved even by the highest expectations set forth for him at the beginning of the year. It appears the Bengals have found their man to lead the team for the next decade.

T.J. Yates has had a much different journey to calling the signals for the Texans Saturday. Yates was forced into duty only after starter Matt Schaub and back up Matt Leinhart were shelved with injuries. Yates himself suffered a shoulder injury last week but is expected to under center when the game kicks off Saturday at 4:30 Eastern Time.

Advantage  Dalton

2)       Andre Johnson vs A J Green

Johnson, one of the best receivers in the game has been hampered with multiple hamstring injuries all season. He says he is healthy and ready to go. Watching the game back I think this is a VERY IMPORTANT factor. If healthy this will force the Bengals to play them straight up giving Houston’s NFL 2nd best running attack a distinct advantage. If Johnson can stretch the field his presence alone will create opportunities for his teammates.

Green has been equally as impressive as his friend and quarterback Dalton this year. His 65 catches, 1057 yards and 7 td’s instilled fear in defenses that they will be facing this duo for many years to come. But when I watched the game back, green at times appeared frustrated with the tight coverage Texan cornerback Jonathan Joseph gave him. Houston’s pass defense is ranked 3rd in the league and Green may have an equally difficult time this week. Look for Tight End  Jermaine Gersham to play an important role in the game plan and passing attack.

Advantage  Johnson

Closing thoughts:

Cincinnati will stack the box and try and force Yates to beat them through the air. Even so, I think Houston can be effective enough to move the chains and create opportunities to put up points. I didn’t realize until I slowed the game down how athletic Houston’s defense is. I see the Texans shutting down the Cincinnati run game and applying enough pressure to force Dalton into a few mistakes. And I see the Texans booking a flight for Baltimore to take on the Ravens in round 2.

Final Score       Houston 23   Cincinnati  16

Charles Bowles

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  • Run Arian and Ben all day long.

    Defense should be able to contain Dalton.

    23-19 Texans…

    Saints-Patriots Super Bowl.

  • Upest SPecial

    Bengals 24 – Texans 19
    Texans QB Yates and Delhomme make costly turnovers
    Bengals WR Green,Simpson and TE Gresham all have big games and are to tough for Texans D to handle as Bengals QB Dalton has a strong game

  • Charles:

    Good article. I like both of these teams as they have quality on both sides of the ball and on both sidelines. This should be a treat. I tend to think that the Texans defense will win this game because of their athleticism and Wade Phillips’ great coordination. But there is no way to discount Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer and their defense. The Bengals are as tough as they come and play the type of game I love to watch. But the Texans have been on the cusp of challenging for the AFC title – but have
    failed to have the right DC to close that deal.
    I’ll take the Bengals in OT. Marvin Lewis should revel in this one.

  • Texans HC Gary Kubiak has a history of coming up small in big games..
    The Texans got ove ra lot of humps this Season by beating good teams on the Road (which they never had down) playing good,hard physical football which they did when beating the Steelers early in the Season…
    I think if the Bengals control Foster & Tate and stack the box making the Texans QB’s have to beat them, then this will play into the hands of the Bengals Defense who coupd capitolize on some Texans mistakes..
    I do believe though that if Schaub was never injured that Texans would have won a couple of more games and been a very formideable Playoff team..
    This Texan team was built the right way and is going to be good for a long time.. They have 4-5 great Defenders who are 1 , 2 & 3rd Year Players who will only get better and better plus Mario Williams if he comes back.. Yikes
    Lover their Draft Picks JJ Watt, LB Drookes Reed, DE Conner Barwin has come out of nowhere to be a real solid player, they added CB James Joseph, high Draft Pick CB Karem Jackson from 2010.. .They have a bright future defensivley and are in good hands with DC Wade Phillips which is what’s he’s great in .. Coaching Defense’s

  • Nsidious,

    Thanks for the kind words. It’s a complement to see intelligent football minds like yourself and paulman making comments. Philadelphia lacks a forum where serious sports people can exchange a dialagoue about other things then Philly teams. G Cobb gives us that option.

  • The Texans can make some noise by using Foster and Tate to pound the ball throughout the playoffs….if they run the ball 30+ times they win…. if they rely on Yates, they will lose….The Bengals run defense is solid so it will be a good contest…I believe the winner is by a FG with under a minute left….
    Texans 23 Bengals 20

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