As we continue with the Houston Texans countdown, the next most difficult game is the week 16 showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals:
The Bengals have become one of the most consistent franchises in the league over the last five years, being one of only a few teams to make the playoffs every year. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have transformed a downtrodden franchise into one of the best, despite a lack of playoff success. Top to bottom, they have one of the most talented rosters in the league.
There are many talented players in this matchup going head to head. Former Bengal Johnathan Joseph matches up with Green, the underrated Andrew Whitworth protects Dalton’s blind side from J.J. Watt and Lamar Miller will try to make plays in the open field against Vontaze Burfict and the Bengals linebackers. Perhaps the most crucial will be the Bengals strong secondary going against Brock Osweiler and DeAndre Hopkins, who scored the only touchdown of the game in last year’s meeting.
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The Texans and the Bengals have had quite a bit of history in a short time. The Bengals won the first three meetings before the Texans won the next five, including the two postseason meetings. The Bengals won in 2014, which kept the Texans out of the postseason (the Texans would have tied the Ravens at 10-6 and owned the head to head tiebreaker) and the Texans handed the Bengals their first loss of the season in 2015.
J.J. Watt’s “little red bb gun” comment added some fuel onto the fire of what suddenly is a heated out of division rivalry. It also helps that Andy Dalton is from Katy, in the Houston area. There is plenty fuel to stoke this fire.
There could easily be some playoff implications in this matchup, as both teams are likely to compete for their respective division titles once again.