Can Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett continue his momentum against a resurgent Cincinnati Bengals team?
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The Cincinnati Bengals go on the road to take on the Houston Texans in Week 12 of the NFL season, with major playoff implications on the line.
After a stunning home loss to the Cleveland Browns where they were held without a TD, the Bengals responded with a dominating win over the New Orleans Saints in a nearly unwinnable Superdome showdown. At 6-3-1, the Bengals have a very narrow lead in the AFC North division title race and still have both of their games against the ascending Pittsburgh Steelers which might ultimately determine who wins the title. WR A.J. Green has missed three games this season and the team on the whole has struggled with turnovers and the defense has been middle of the pack in terms of points allowed. A win over the Texans would give them a little bit more breathing room as they prepare for a difficult December schedule.
The Houston Texans benched QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of Ryan Mallett, who rewarded head coach Bill O’Brien with a win over the Browns in his first NFL start. With only one game separating the Texans from the division lead held by the Indianapolis Colts and four more division games to play, a win for the Texans would help them stay neck and neck as they play only two more teams with a winning record in the final five games: the Colts and the Ravens.
Prediction: Bengals – The Texans have struggled mightily against teams with good QBs this season, as their only wins have come against Washington, Oakland, Buffalo, Tennessee and Cleveland – three of which have a QB carousel and only one of which had a Pro Bowler starting. The Bengals are a different monster entirely and won’t be providing the kind of low-scoring affairs that the Texans have won with. Another important note: The Texans are 0-5 in games where they allow 20 points or more, the Bengals have put up that many points in seven games this season and gone 6-0-1 in those games.