Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Reasons Why the Texans Will Win
How often do you see two rookie quarterbacks facing off in NFL playoff games?
The Houston Texans narrowly escaped defeat in the their last meeting in Week 14, but this week, they feature a more experienced quarterback, have a home crowd behind them and more.
Here are the five reasons the Houston Texans will defeat the Cincinnati Bengals.
5. Texans' Run Game
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When Matt Schaub went to the injured reserve, most expected the Houston offense to see eight- or nine-man fronts, which would slow down Houston's efficient run game powered by Arian Foster and Ben Tate.
Just the opposite happened.
The run game actually got better with Yates, as their yards per carry went up.
The Texans' zone-blocking run scheme plus heavy use of the play action has been the result, especially in the Week 14 game against the Bengals.
4. Cincinnati's Inability to Put Teams Away
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The Bengals' only win by more than 10 points was against Seattle, which was a close one until the last five minutes. A huge part of this is, especially in the Week 14 Texans game, was Cincinnati's ineffective run game.
Cedric Benson had eight carries for negative yards in the second half, where they held a 13-point lead but found a way to lose.
In Houston on Sunday, this wont get the job done.
3. Houston's Stifling Defense Has Wade Phillips Back
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Since Week 7, the Texans defense has only allowed opposing teams to score 20 or more points twice, and both of those games were after they had clinched their division and without Wade Phillips at the helm of one of the league's best defenses.
2. Cincinnati Letting Johnathan Joseph Leave
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Letting Johnathan Joseph walk may come back to haunt the Bengals on both offense (having to face him) and defense (missing his presence).
In Week 14, Joseph held A.J. Green to 59 Yards in five catches (one of which was for 36 of those yards) and got one pass interference called.
While he didn't completely shut Green down, he did keep him out of the end zone and only allowed one big play from the star rookie wideout.
Joseph played with a purpose then and let the crowd of his former team know it.
1. The Return of Andre Johnson
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Coming off an injury won't be a big deal for Andre Johnson, who will be hungry to play the first playoff game of his career.
Is there anyone on the Bengals who is a good matchup for Johnson?
I don't think It will be Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, who cost the Bengals in the last meeting with a pass interference call with only seconds left in the game. There's a reason Pac-Man was on the "Pros vs. Joes" TV show a few short years ago.
No one will deny Andre Johnson, and you can expect him to give this game everything he has.