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Cincinnati Bengals: Second Half Preview Part One

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Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws in the pocket against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 regular season is already halfway over, with every team now having played at least eight games. No one in the world could’ve possibly expected the Cincinnati Bengals to be 8-0 at this point of the season, but here they are. And while the Bengals have played very well, hoping for a 16-0 season is pointless and unrealistic. Cincinnati’s schedule will get more and more daunting in the second half of the season, with four more prime time games–three of which are away games. And while the Bengals have proven that they are no longer a bad prime time team, the spotlight will be on Cincinnati for the rest of the year, with skeptics needing the Bengals to prove that this team is different.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans

Many Bengals fans know Bill O’Brian from his short stint at Penn State, but when you think of the Texans, you think of J.J. Watt. He is a defensive force and Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith, baring any set backs, will be containing him and stopping him from getting to Andy Dalton and the Bengals run game. There defense though is more than just Watt, they will need to contain Whitney Mercilus from his linebacker position, and Jared Crick off the other edge.

On the offensive side, the Texans have been struggling. They have been through two quarterbacks with Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallet, in which Mallet has been released due to team rules violations. Hoyer and the Texans offense has had difficulty with teams outside of their division, going 1-4 over those five games. In all three wins, Hoyer’s turnovers were limited and the Texans were at least even in turnovers if not in the positive. It will be key to force turnovers.

Next: Bengals at Cardinals

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