Offensive tackle Andrew Whitoworth isn’t satisfied with the Bengals’ accomplishments thus far, and knows it’s time to win the franchise’s first postaseason game in over two decades:
Now it doesn’t matter if you’re 12-4, 8-8, or whatever your record is. Everybody has a clean slate. I think we found ways to win games and the thing we needed to learn as a young team is find ways to win games. The progression was last year we were predicted to go 1-15 and we made the playoffs at 9-7. This year we were predicted to make the playoffs, we went 10-6 and we did it. The next progression is to win a playoff game. Anything short of that is not a good season for us.
Marvin Lewis echoed those same sentiments while saying how this year’s playoff game vs. the Texans is different, despite facing the same opponent:
That’s last year and this is this year. The urgency of the playoffs are what they are. We need to go down there and win the football game. We did some good things in the game last year, but not enough and not long enough, and we got beat. It was a closer football game at halftime, and we had the negative play on offense, and from that point we kind of got out-distanced.
Lewis also made note of who will be key in this year’s matchup:
They have a great running game, led by (Arian) Foster. The quarterback (Matt Schaub) is back and playing this year. We didn’t face him last year. They’ve got a great receiver in Andre Johnson. The tight end (Owen Daniels) is a very productive player. They spread the ball around to their offensive guys. Defensively, they’re still led by (J.J.) Watt. Johnathan Joseph has had another very good year. They’re not the same on the interior of their defense at linebacker — they lost (Brian) Cushing to injury early in the year. Otherwise, the upfront guys are basically still the same guys. They don’t have the same returner they had last year in Jacoby Jones. They return most of their football team.
Defensive tackle Domata Peko believes in the old saying that defense wins championships, and with the Bengals playing the best defense of any team in the NFL currently, he thinks they can carry Cincinnati to the Super Bowl:
History shows that it’s great and good defenses that win championships. This is the best we’ve ever played going into the playoffs.
According to the agent of former Bengals practice squad receiver Justin Hilton, the Bengals contacted him today about rejoining team, probably on their practice squad this week.