Game 8 – Bengals at Texans Pre-Fail Musings

By Staff

Game 8 – 2008 Bengals Season

Bengals at Texans, October 26th, 2008 – 4pm EST


How will the Bengals Offense Look?


Blah, Blah, Blah…Rayn Fitzgerald started the Steelers game with 5 straight 3-and-outs, 7 in total for the game. Mr. Fitzgerald is downright dreadful. He makes JUST enough plays each week to keep from getting the hook, though there is not much to look for in the cupboard should Ryan completely lose his grip on the reins, if he ever had them.

The Texans brings a tough D-line featuring former No. 1 pick, Mario Williams who, as shown with his 6 sacks so far this season, has emerged to be the kind of player who could have a Reggie White or Michael Strahan type career. He is that good. Other key components include NT/DT Travis Johnson who, also an r1 pick (16th in 2005), and the tandem of DE Anthony Weaver and DT Amobi Okoye.

Given the lackluster ability of Ryan Fitzpatrick to do…anything of note, I look for him to be sacked upwards of 6 times, pulled by mid 3rd quarter and this will serve to be his final game starting in stripes.

RB :

I saw a glimmer of spark, of hope, of energy in the run game last week. Now, Mr. Cedric Benson cannot revive this component of the offense on his own, it is noted that he had more pop and bang than Perry or Rudi over the previous, say, 20 games? If Cedric can get the starts the rest of the way, and the line can just do the basics (yes, asking a lot of this group of sacks), expect there to be a minor awakeing in the running department.

Should the Texans be the front 4 to cave against this run scheme, I will be very surprised. Not statistically strong, they have played better over the last 3 games, giving up only 79 rushing yards in the heartbreak loss to Indy, only 96 yards in their late win against the ‘Phins, and 77 yards in their win against the other winless team, the Lions.


7 more sacks in the column against the Steelers. I thought it was 8 but it might as well have been a million. The 7 don’t correspond exactly with the seven 3-and-outs precisely executed by this offense but the average “Joe” gets the idea; this O-line is the central issue with this offense. I am of the opinion that this group lacks any identity or leadership voice. There always needs to be a “rock” and for this team that “rock” was Willie Anderson. I understood and agreed with his release before the season started; a plethora of health issues, biggish contract, not a “Marvin” guy…the reason is moot now at any rate. He is gone and so went the one keystone of this unit. Now, it is a shell of its former self, giving up sacks like a drunk prom date yields her virginity.

With an emerging star like Mario Williams bearing down on one Mr. Levi Jones, and the subsequent Ryan Fitzgerals, I sense a dizzying day spent stomping around my living room wondering what I did to deserve such a sports-karma-fate…Oh, wait, I actually know the answer to this. I was born at Good Sam and grew up on the west side. Explains a lot right there.


Are they all hurt? Did the Steelers put these guys into such a physical reaction that they are all pulling up lame? Maybe. Maybe it is Ryan Fitz-misfire pulling the trigger?

At last check, the Texans DB’s are also hurting so whoever lines up should be a draw.

How will the Bengals Defense Look?


The Bengals D-line has lacked nearly every ingredient needed to give consistent play this season. Better statistically against the pass, due to the Bengals opponent playing with a lead into the 3rd quarter, teams run well on this group and score with impunity.

The Texans are themselves an emerging bunch, bringing rookie RB Steve Slaton in to carry the mail and offer an elite talent at WR in Andre Johnson. Going up the gut or over the top will be their choice unless QB pressure can be obtained in some freakish way.


The River’s plan took a nose-dive last week when eternally hated Hines Ward made the douche-tastic play of the year by putting his helmet to the jaw of the novice LB, thus ending his season in spectacular fashion. Let’s see: hold-out, sign-late, play slightly better than Landon Johnson, then end the season on IR. If you are a Bengals fan you will sense nothing wrong with this scenario.

With Slaton gaining confidence, the Texans O-line playing with momentum, and Matt Schaub back, I don’t see any rest for the Bengals LB’s.


This unit simply gave up last week. They looked over at the offense, the coaches, the empty(ing) stands and said “fuckit”. No real way to explain what happened there at the end. This is a talented unit that we watched throw in the towel. Why the juggling at safety is another point to ask Marvin about in the season post-mortem meeting…wait, that was last week.

It will not get easier against a balanced Texans offense that brings skill at every position.

How will the Special Teams Look?

We should see the return of Glenn Holt this week and his contribution will be one I will be keying on. He has shown he has the chops to make every kick off exciting. Given the sheer number he will see this year, we could see him get near the Bengals season kick return record for yardage set by Tab Perry in 2005 with 1,562. Mr. Holt is number 2 all-time for the Bengals with his 1,432 last year.


Injuries – Palmer, Mays, Caldwell are out. Several other had limited weeks including TJ, Rucker, Chatman and rookie Jerome Simpson.

For the Texans, Andre Davis is out and only S Dominique Barber and DE Mario Williams were reported as limited in practice.

Stadium/Fans – Reliant Stadium host the Bengals for only the second time, with the wind-damaged roof staying open for the rest fo the year.

Weather – Sunny, mid-80’s, watch for the cramp to grip players late in the game. Houston can have stifling humidity.

Historically – Bengals lead 3-0, 1-0 at Houston.

Relevant Stat – Under the watch of Mike Brown, the Bengals have achieved the mark of 0-7 a total of five times since 1991. 0-7. Five times. Since 1991. Fail.

Prognosis – 0-8 is penciled in my column. Bengals 10 – Texans 27