- Quarterback Andy Dalton grew up in Katy, Texas, only a 40 minute drive from the Houston Texans’ Reliant Stadium. Dalton expects a lot of family and friends in the stadium this Saturday, but that’s not the only advantage Dalton will have on Sunday.
- Dalton has played in Reliant Stadium three times in his life, twice while in high school and once while at TCU, and won all three games.
- Texans’ QB TJ Yates is expected to start after suffering a shoulder injury early in last week’s loss to the Tennessee Titans. That means this will be the first time that two rookie QBs will start and face-off in the playoffs in NFL history. Rookie QBs are 4-5 since the merger in their first playoff starts. That will change to 5-6 this Saturday, no matter what happens.
- Dalton has been struggling recently to put up the great numbers that he put up at the start of the season. Through his first nine games, he had a 61.5% completion rate, 12 TDs, 7 turnovers. In his last 7? 54.8% completion rate, 8 TDs, 8 turnovers. Credit the wind, credit the injured AJ Green, and perhaps better defenses? I’m honestly not sure what has happened to Dalton.
BENGALS IN THE PLAYOFFS
- The Bengals are one of ten teams in the NFL to have made it to the playoffs twice in the past 3 years.
- Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, only 10 of these 42 Superbowl contenders have come from the wild-card round. Six of these ten have won the Superbowl.
- Cincinnati’s last playoff win was in 1990 against the Houston Oilers.
- Andre Johnson only played 20 snaps in the Texans-Titans last week after missing the previous three games to injury. Head Coach Kubiak doesn’t think Johnson will be 100% healthy, but intends to use him for 40-50 snaps this weekend.
- The early line from Vegas is that the Texans are 2.5 point favorites against the Bengals.
- The nation is picking the Bengals 58-42 over the Texans. In Ohio, it’s 88% Bengals. In Texas, it’s 78% Texans:
Also, check out this webpage on ESPN.com. It’s an entire page dedicated to the Texans-Bengals playoff matchup with articles from each side constantly posted.