How the Texans keep winning games is beyond us. They are playing without two quarterbacks and one of the best defensive players in all of football, and they are somehow still finding ways to win games when push comes to shove. QB TJ Yates did a nice job last week keeping tabs on the football. He only dropped back 32 times in the game, and he made something out of it without turning the ball over in the victory against the Atlanta Falcons, a team that is likely going to be in the NFC playoffs when it’s said and done. RBs Ben Tate and Arian Foster both could be 1,000-yard backs by season’s end, and they are both going to be relied upon heavily in this one, especially if the team’s top receiver, WR Andre Johnson ends up missing this game with a hamstring injury. This defense is still as nasty as could be though, even without DE/LB Mario Williams, and a lot of it is thanks to the play of youngsters LB Brooks Reed and LB Connor Barwin. Without these two, DC Wade Phillips knows that his defense would be lost, as there would just be no rush from the outside.
Have the Bengals had it? Losing this game might spell their end of their season, especially knowing that their last game of the year is against the Baltimore Ravens right here at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincy has dropped three out of four, and it has allowed at least 24 points all of the losses. Even the lone win here against the Cleveland Browns was iffy at best, as it was a game in which the Bengals had to come from behind to win at the death. QB Andy Dalton may not win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, but he is certainly the most valuable rookie. He has 17 TDs against 12 INTs for the season, and he is closing in on the 3,000-yard mark. The problem that Dalton has had though, is that he has really done poorly against the best defenses that he has seen thus far this year. Just against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and San Francisco 49ers, the former TCU Horned Frog has thrown four TDs against seven INTs, and he hasn’t completed even 54 percent of his passes in any of those games.
Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals Trends: These teams have met five times before. The Bengals have lost the last two SU and the last three ATS, but they are perfect aside from that in this series. The Texans have gone 5-0-1 ATS in their last six overall, but they are just 1-4 ATS in their last five as underdogs. Cincinnati is 7-20 ATS in its last 27 games as favorites, and it is 0-3-1 ATS in its last four against AFC teams. However, the team is 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 games played on field turf.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.