(Photo Courtesy of Inquisitor)
The Texans can clinch the AFC South title Saturday night with a win and a Titans loss. The Bengals on the other hand, have to be one of the disappointments in the NFL this year. If the Bengals were completely healthy they would be the easy pick here, but they have not been healthy all year.
Houston Texans- The Texans are amazingly battling the Tennessee Titans for first place in the AFC South. They are solid on defense with a veteran secondary. The offense is another story; Tom Savage will make his first NFL start for much maligned QB Brock Osweiler who has not earned the 72 million dollar contract he got in the off-season.
Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals will have their playoff streak stopped at 5, and the question is after last week’s meltdown against the Steelers, how much left in the tank does this team have. On an ordinary team one would think that Head Coach Marvin Lewis is on the hot seat, but in Cincinnati, the Bengals have an owner in Mike Brown who has no clue what to do to get this team over the top.
Keys to the game.
The Bengals pass game vs. Texans secondary- The Bengals will now be without TE Tyler Eifert, and A.J. Green has been downgraded to questionable. Rookie WR Tyler Boyd has played well as of late, but veteran WR Brandon Lafell has been a disappointment. The Texans will combat a depleted Bengals passing game with veteran defensive backs, Jonathon Joesph and Kareem Jackson, who lead the number two pass defense in the NFL.
Texans run offense vs. Bengals Run Defense.
Lamar Miller is sixth in the NFL with 1,073 rushing yards as Houston ranks fifth in rushing offense (122.7 ypg). Cincinnati has had its issues stopping the run all season, currently checking in at No. 26 (117.5 ypg) in that department. Look for the Bengals to have to load the box in an attempt to stop the Texans run game. With no Burfict at Linebacker, the Bengals could be in trouble in this matchup. If the Texans can have success running the ball, it will take a lot of pressure off of QB Tom Savage.
I look for the Texans to pound the ball down the Bengals throats; the Bengals are terrible at LB without Burfict, Dansby is too old, Maulaluga is fat and out of shape and doesn’t seem to care. The Texans win this one Texans 27 Bengals 17