1. Johnathan Joseph
The Bengals offense is much like the Texans’. Andre Johnson is the team’s best weapon and Matt Schaub’s favorite target. A.J. Green plays the exact same role in Cincinnati’s offense.
I expect Johnathan Joseph to shadow Green all over the field on Saturday afternoon as he did in last year’s Texans-Bengals game. Green had just 5 catches for 47 yards in last year’s wild card game. If Joseph can keep the Bengals Pro Bowl receiver near those totals this weekend, the Texans should keep the Bengals offense from scoring more than 17 points.
2. Chris Myers
Myers, along with Wade Smith and Ben Jones, will be in charge of trying to neutralize Geno Atkins, arguably the best defensive tackle in the NFL. Atkins is to the Bengals defensive line what J.J. Watt is to the Texans. He led the Bengals with 12.5 sacks and spends much of his time in opponents backfields.
If Myers and the Texans other interior lineman can keep Atkins from sacking Matt Schaub and bursting through the line to stuff Arian Foster and Ben Tate, then the Texans offense should be able to return to form and propel them into the second round of the playoffs.
3. Owen Daniels
Daniels was on his way to a career best season when the Texans hit their bye week in November. He’s been lost in the Texans season-ending stumble however, tallying just 15 catches over their last five games.
For the Texans offense to get rolling again, someone besides Andre Johnson has to be involved in the passing game. Daniels is the logical player to step up and take some of the defensive attention off Johnson. If Daniels has a big game, the Texans will beat the Bengals and start getting ready for a rematch with the Patriots.
SportsRadio 610 Sports Director Robert Henslee has been covering the Texans on a daily basis since they were approved as the NFL’s 32nd team on October 6, 1999. Follow Robert on Twitter: @SportsRadioRH