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600- No matter how thin or thick you slice it, the Bengals have been playing better than the Texans… And the thicker, actually, the more drastic it is… Over the last 8 games the Bengals have been one of the 5 or 6 best teams in the NFL, the Texans haven’t been one of the 15 best over that same stretch…
615- HEADLINES… Including Texans audio and another Rockets win after another great night from James Harden… Plus I’m sure some Bowls were played…
630- TOP 3…
645- Wade Phillips on JJ Watt… Long form cut on how great JJ has been… Is JJ’s season going to be the best thing remembered from this season? It sure as hell looks like it is.
700- We have been focusing on Schaub, and for good reason… But here’s an absolute fact: With or without their inside linebackers, if Wade Phillips and this defense ever was anything resembling “Bulls on Parade” than they will win this playoff game by themselves…
Andy Dalton can’t come into Reliant and win, right? I mean, the Texans should be able to win with 17 points if this defense ever was what we cracked it up to be…
715- Let’s talk the other AFC matchup and the greatness of Ray Lewis as he announces his pending retirement… By every possible metric the Colts are one of the worst playoff teams of the
last 20 years, yet the very worst teams all won their first playoff games before getting mollywhopped in Round 2… (Think Denver last year…)
730- DOC KENNETH R FIRST
745- HornSolutions.net NO HUDDLE
800-900- TED JOHNSON
1. Tough match-ups: > Andrew Hawkins- He is very slippery and they do things with him similarly to that of a W. Welker > Jermaine Greshem- He is a big/strong TE (leads NFL in yrds after catch). Let’s face it…every TE the Texans have played this year have done well against them (particularly in the R.Z). > Geno Atkins- He is the best DT in the game today. He has done something JJ hasn’t done all year….he had a 4 sack performance against the Steelers two weeks ago. Pt is he’s very good and I see him playing over the RG all day. > Vontaze Burfict- He’s a tackle monster and tough to run on. He will be key to stopping A.F. > Andrew Whitworth/Andre Smith (OT’s)- Pro Football Focus has them rated as the best Tackle combo in the NFL. So much for Mercilus/Barwin/Reed doing much in this game. > Adam Jones/Brandon Tate PR/KOR- Hell….Lopez/Wright would be a tough match-up for the Texans.
2. Key problems that have to get better for the Texans.. > Texans Offense might rank 7th overall in the NFL but they are 20th on 3rd down and terrible in R.Z. > Texans Defense might rank 7th overall but they give up too many big plays. Texans opponents are completing 60%of passes of 30 or more yrds. That includes 6 TD’s in last 7 games. Watch the Bengals “take a shot” early in the game/half and after “sudden change”. A.D has no problem going deep a lot to AJ Green (even if he’s dbl’d)
3. Like the Texans the Bengals like to play Cov1 (particularly on 3rd down) so that means a few things… > Have to protect #8 better. No more blown assignments on OL. > QB and WR’s have to be on the same page regarding “hot reads”. It’s key they are seeing the same thing pre-snap/post-snap. > SOMEBODY OTHER THAN ANDRE JOHNSON WILL MAKE A PLAY.
4. The Bengal’s running game is a “vertical” running game. Meaning the NT/ILB’s will be tested. They don’t run to the edges very much. I know BJGE might not play but Cody and the ILB’s have been struggling. They have a HUGE OL (similarly to Vikings) and will see if you came to play.
5. Does it seem like the Texans have more of a “horizontal” passing game? Screens/hitch routes to outside/”Out” routes etc…do they not attack the MOF bc they don’t have a true slot receivers or big TE to target?
6. X-Factors: > #82 Marvin Jones. He’s only got 18 receptions but he’s a big target and they are getting him more involved in the passing game. > #16 Andrew Hawkins. He is an elusive slot receiver and bc they like to play 3 and 4 WR sets he will be isolated on Brandon Harris at times. > #24 Adam Jones. Had a big punt return two weeks ago vs the Steelers and has 1 TD this season. > #20 Reggie Nelson. He is third on the team in tackles and is all over the field. They love to blitz him and he has 3 INT’s this year.
7. The Bengal have 5 former 1st Rd players in their secondary… > Terrance Newman (2003) > Leon Hall (2007) > Nate Clements (2001) > Adam Jones (2005) > Reggie Nelson (2007)