Texans vs. Bengals: Staff predictions

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Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Alfred Blue (28) runs with the ball against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (59) at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Josh McSwain : Editor

Game: Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals

Prediction: The Texans have done well against the Bengals in the Andy Dalton era, with two playoff wins over the Bengals, the two in the history of the franchise. However, the Bengals did get the better of the Texans in last season’s meeting, Dalton’s first win over the Texans. Can the Texans get back on the right track in this series? It will be a tall task for sure.

Andy Dalton is having a career year and A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert have become great weapons on the outside. Then their two-headed running back monster of Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard are among the best duos in the league. Bernard is fourth in the league in yards per carry with 5.6 and is 14th in the league in rushing yards. Hill has not been the same guy he was last year, but he scores the touchdowns with five on the ground this year to Bernard’s two. I see a big night on the ground for Cincinnati.

For Houston to pull off the upset, there are quite a few things that need to happen. First of all, the Texans must create turnovers. But that will be easier said than done against a team that has only turned it over eight times all season, and Houston has been one of the worst at creating turnovers with just nine on the season. Second, Houston needs at least two big plays over the top to DeAndre Hopkins. That will be hard as the Bengals are tied for seventh in the league allowing just 6.8 yards per pass and have allowed just 22 passes over 20 yards, sixth in the league. However, they have allowed five over 40 yards. Lastly, the Texans must pass block well. The Bengals are fifth in the league with 23 sacks, Hoyer must be kept upright for the Texans to have a chance. But I don’t think any of these things will happen.

Final Score: Cincinnati 34, Houston 13

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