Bengals vs. Texans: 3 Bold Predictions

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Texans will turn the ball over at least three times.

Through the first half of the season the Texans are -2 in turnover differential. Giving away seven interceptions and four fumbles, the Texans have turned the ball over 11 times on offense. Brian Hoyer has been the considerably better quarterback over Ryan Mallett (who was cut just a couple of weeks ago) since taking over the full-time starting duties in Week 4. Hoyer has thrown only two interceptions in the last five games while the Bengals have tallied eight interceptions on the season (Reggie Nelson leads the team with three picks). The Bengals are tied for seventh in the NFL, along with Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Philadelphia, with a +4 turnover differential.

Houston’s run game has been ineffective since the start of the season. After Arian Foster suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in Week 7, the Houston Texans’ running game has become virtually nonexistent. Houston’s 703 rushing yards ranks second-to-last in the NFL; the team’s leading rusher, Alfred Blue, has just 273 rushing yards on the season. Houston’s offensive line has been effective at times when protecting its quarterback, but it could have its hands full against a stout Bengals defensive line. The Bengals have already recorded 23 sacks on defense this season; Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap have combined for a total of 14.5 sacks on the year and Atkins’ six sacks rank most amongst all defensive tackles.

If the Bengals are able to put a stop to the Texans’ run game early and disrupt Hoyer throughout the game, the Bengals have a legitimate chance to completely dismantle the Texans’ offense and force three or more turnovers.

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