Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Matchups to Watch

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November 18, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Bengals won 28-6. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive line: Both teams feature Pro Bowlers up front, the Texans with Watt and the Bengals with Geno Atkins. Watt is probably the Defensive MVP in the NFL this year, but the Bengals’ depth and stronger overall pass rush give them the slight edge. Advantage: Bengals

Linebackers: It’s kind of fun to complain about Rey Maualuga sometimes, but he’s actually had a decent year. Cincinnati’s unit has received a huge lift since Vontaze Burfict started seeing significant playing time. Glover Quin led Houston in tackles with just 84, and this unit is not one of Houston’s strengths. Advantage: Bengals

Defensive Backs: This unit certainly IS one of Houston’s defensive strengths. The Jonathan Joseph-AJ Green matchup will be one to watch, and veteran Danieal Manning is still one of the better safeties in the league. Cincinnati’s secondary has been banged up all year, though the Bengal pass rush helps to cover up some of those deficiencies. Advantage: Texans

Special Teams: Former Bengal legend Shayne Graham is plying his trade in Houston these days, where he made 31 of 38 field goals on the season, though he went just 4-9 on kicks over 50 yards. Josh Brown has been excellent since taking over for the injured Mike Nugent, and Kevin Huber and Adam Jones give Cincinnati a slight edge. Advantage: Beng…Wait! What’s that you say? The Bengals still have Brandon Tate? Oh. Advantage: Texans

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