Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans Preview, Prediction and Pick
The playoffs are finally here ladies and gents, and for the 2012-2013 NFL season, it's been an interesting one to say the least. There have been some crazy upsets and great games, but we are down to our final 12 teams, who are the best of the best. The first game that we are going to take a look at is an AFC Wild Card match-up between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans. Both teams have had strong seasons, and definitely earned their way into the playoffs. The Texans were actually looking like a lock for the first seed, but they lost last weekend and fell to the third spot. This leaves them in a match-up against a young up and coming team in the Cincinnati Bengals. Kickoff for this one is set for Saturday at 4:30pm EST and will be played in Houston.
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The Bengals young offense is led by a three headed tandem of Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. These three have had solid seasons, and I'm interested to see how they do against the Texans defense. They've done a great job leading this team throughout the year, but the defense was much improved also. If the Bengals want to pull off the road upset against the favored Texans team, they'll need to feed the ball to AJ Green and get him to have one of those days that we'll talk about for weeks.
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The Texans have done it on both sides of the ball this year, but they've suffered some injuries to their incredibly talented defense. The linebacking group is the biggest issue of injuries, but they've rebounded well from the injuries. I also love the offense that they have with their own three headed monster in Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson, and all three of them can make big plays. Foster and Johnson are two of the best in the NFL and are definitely elite, so they could give the Bengals defense some fits throughout the day on Saturday.
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This is going to be a great game, and some people aren't expecting it. The Texans are the favorites for good reason, as they are hosting a home playoff game, but the Bengals are a very talented team. I'm expecting both teams to come out with emotion, and while I think that the Texans should jump out early, the Bengals will respond with a comeback. At the end of the day, I'm going with the Texans to pull out the win, but it'll only be by around 3-4 points, and I'm projecting a three point win on a fourth quarter field goal for the Texans.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals +4.5
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