Found January 02, 2013 on
New England Patriots
Vegas might be considering the Texans to be a 4.5 point favorite to win Saturday’s game, but you might not know that given some of the talk whirling around the interwebs. More than a few non-Bengals-oriented sites are lining up the Texans’ recent losing skid against the Bengals’ strong second half of the season and coming to a different conclusion from the odds-makers.
A honest assessment says that this should be a good game and could go either way. (That’s what we want in a post-season game, right?) Both teams are good, particularly on defense. And neither team is executing as they would like on offense. They game will come down to which way a handful of plays swing. The Bengals can be on the winning side of those plays if…
Jermaine Gresham exploits Houston’s depleted linebacker corps. Despite Brooks Reed looking to get back on the field this week, the Texans’ mid-fielders have been battling the injury bug. That spells a big opportunity for Gresham, who has done a much better job of commanding the middle of the field this season. Taking advantage of a defense that is a little soft in the middle and paying extra attention to A.J. Green will be the spark that the offense has been lacking the past few weeks. And along that same theme…
Andrew Hawkins makes his presence felt. Our interest will naturally be drawn to the matchup of AJ vs JJoe. [AJ went 10/106 in their two games last year.] Same for the Texans’ defense. With a little creativity and timeliness from Jay Gruden, Hawkins could remind us why he draws comparisons to Wes Welker at times.
The offensive line gives Dalton a little time. Much like the Bengals, the Texans will rely on their pass rush to disrupt Dalton and break down the offense. Expecting the line to look as solid as it did a month ago is setting yourself up for big disappointment. But they need to improve their play just enough to give Andy a little bit more time and room, leading me to the next point…
Andy Dalton stays calm and collected. If we’ve learned anything about Dalton in the last month, it’s that he is far less effective when he has one eye on the pass rush. (That’s true of most all QBs though.) He has to stay in that zone where he is in command of the game and be okay with taking a few shots, because he will whether he wants to or not.
The defense makes life hard on Arian Foster. The Texans live by the run, so they Bengals will have to make them die by the run. The more we are hearing the names of Peko and Sims, the better. Force Matt Schaub to live up to his Pro Bowl selection. (The best way to do that is with an early lead.) Andre Johnson will likely get his, but he can’t do it all on his own. Keep the ball in Schaub’s hands and watch the D-line feast on him.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Bengals defensive line is really good.
The Bengals are in the top 3 for sacks this season and this is largely because of the play of the Bengals defensive line. The front 4 for the Bengals have generated 42 of the teams 51 sacks (that alone is better than 25 other NFL teams). This means the Bengals are able to generate a ton of pressure on opposing quarterbacks without fancy...
CINCINNATI (AP) -- BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn't suit up for the Cincinnati Bengals' practice on Tuesday. He wore black sweatpants and a gray hooded sweatshirt, running by himself at one end of the University of Cincinnati's covered football field while everyone else ran plays.
It's another challenge for an offense that's hit the wall.
Green-Ellis had a sore hamstring...
Michael Johnson towers over blockers at 6-foot-7. At 6-foot-1, Geno Atkins often gets dwarfed on the line. Domata Peko is gregarious. Carlos Dunlap tends to cut off interviews after a few questions.
The Bengals' defensive line is an eclectic mix of players from far different backgrounds with very different personalities and body types. Together, they formed one of the NFL'...
Saturday is the big day, and if you are like me, you’re almost literally counting the hours until game time. This is the fourth playoff appearance for the Bengals of the Marvin Lewis regime, so luckily for us it’s become almost commonplace to be in the playoffs and the awful stench of the lost decade seems firmly in the rearview.
That said, the Bengals are 0-for-3 so far in...
Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis
returned to the practice field on Wednesday after missing Sunday’s matchup
against the Baltimore Ravens due to a hamstring injury, reports Josh Alper of
Pro Football Talk.
Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn’t play
in Week 17 after tweaking his hamstring in warmups for Cincinnati’s game
against the Ravens...
The Cincinnati Bengals finished 2012 strong. After starting off with a 3-5 record, the Bengals went on a 7-1 run to end the season. With an improved defense and a tough-at-times offense, this year's squad certainly gives fans hope of a bright future. Although the team made the playoffs as a wild card, fans would still like to see their team raise the bar a bit. The time...
A year ago this weekend, in the same line on the AFC bracket and in the same made-for-television time slot, the Cincinnati Bengals went to Houston and were promptly eliminated from the playoffs.
Take Two can be different.
That's not to say it will be, or that the still young and still very much unproven Bengals are ready to win a road playoff game against a talented Texans team...
The last time we spoke the Bengals needed to beat Pittsburgh to get into the postseason. Check. They also needed to beat the Ravens to clinch double digit wins for the third time under Marvin Lewis. Check. Now the Bengals have a prime opportunity to end their most daunting streak, winning a postseason game for the first time in forever. The Bengals are facing a familiar postseason...
Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday with a hamstring injury. Green-Ellis tweaked the hamstring in warmups before Sunday's victory over the Baltimore Ravens and didn't play in the game. His practice status is listed as limited. Green-Ellis' availability for Saturday's wild-card playoff game...
(Updates. With AP Photos.) By JOE KAY AP Sports Writer BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn't suit up for the Cincinnati Bengals' practice on Tuesday. He wore black sweatpants and a gray hooded sweatshirt, running by himself at one end of the University of Cincinnati's covered football field while everyone else ran plays.
It's another challenge for an offense that's hit...
Saturday Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (hamstring): Green-Ellis practiced in a limited fashion both Wednesday and Thursday, the Bengals' official website reports. He did not play in Cincinnati's season finale because the Bengals had already locked up the AFC's sixth seed, but we expect that Green-Ellis will be present this weekend...
Bengals at Texans-4.5
For the second year in a row, the NFL playoffs kickoff with the Cincinnati Bengals traveling to Houston to face a Texans team favored slightly in the point spread. This year’s wildcard match-up has a completely different feel from a year ago. The Houston Texans were excited just to make the postseason this time last year, but after a complete meltdown in December...