As far as the coaching, I would be willing to give a slight edge to the Bengals in this game. That’s because the Bengals have a secret weapon in DC Mike Zimmer. He has the uncanny ability to use man coverage in a strong secondary, while sending a linebacker blitz. The creativity and rigor that could land him in a head coaching job next season could also send the Bengals on their way to a win this Saturday.
The game may ultimately depend on three factors. The first is the lines for each team. This is going to be a football game of which team can control the line of scrimmage.
The second will be whether Andy Dalton can attack a permeable Texans secondary. The Texans have suffered injuries throughout their defense, and the Bengals pass attack will need to expose that if they want to win.
The final factor will be the struggling Texans offense against the surging Bengals defense.
Momentum always plays a huge role in the playoffs. If that’s the case in this game, the Bengals will enjoy entering this contest winners of seven in their last eight games. That could bode well for them as they face a team ending the season losing three of their last four.
Wild Card Weekend starts in Houston at 4:30 p.m. If the Texans win, it will be back-to-back Wild Card victories against the Bengals that will send them into a rematch against the New England Patriots. If Cincinnati wins its rematch, the team will grab its first playoff win since January 6, 1991.