The Texans and Bengals do battle in a huge game Sunday that could go a long way in deciding if the Bengals are for real or not. The past few weeks the team has had its issues, and it came to a head last week with a blowout loss to the Steelers.
It’s a new week, and below is our three keys and prediction for the matchup Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium at 1pm.
1. Get to Yates – Texans rookie QB T.J. Yates has had success already in 2011, and that’s mostly due to the team around him. While he hasn’t made a lot of mistakes, the Bengals need to get to him and possibly force some turnovers. Yates hasn’t had a lot of pressure on him, and that’s due to how well the Texans O-line has played. That will need to change if the Bengals are going to win.
2. Mistake Free Offense – Andy Dalton has had his share of issues the past few weeks like the rest of the Bengals, and while he’s a rookie, the team needs to rally around him, and he needs to play better. The team took pity on him last week, pulling him in the 4th quarter of the blowout loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh. It was a learning experience, and he needs to make a turn around – fast.
3. Don’t Panic – The Texans have one of the best defenses, just like they faced last week in Pittsburgh. They need to be patient and allow what the Texans give them, and not try to force things. The Texans don’t give up much on the ground, and that means Ced Benson is going to have to do his best to keep the run game going. Houston has been stingy in all areas, but if the Bengals can use a short pass game and do a lot of YAC (yards after catch), it’s their best shot to win.
Prediction – This is it. The Bengals need a win in the worst way, as they simply have been having a lot of issues in all areas, and got to get back what made them successful. One thing is forcing mistakes from Yates, and the other is the patience preached above on offense. This is a big time growing experience for the Bengals, and I think the Bengals will finally step up and play a complete game. Bengals 21 Texans 17
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