A.F.C. Wild Card Preview: Bengals @ Texans
AFC Wild Card Round Preview
Teams: Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) @ Houston Texans (12-4)
Start Time: 7pm ET
Location: Houston, TX
Coaches: Hersh (31-20) // JohnnyBoy (13-7) Network: COFL Network 2
COFL Expert Analysis
If there was ever a time to turn it on and make a COFL Bowl run, this is the time. Why are we saying that? Because we feel that these two teams right here are the ultimate sleeper teams. Meaning, don't sleep on the Bengals or Texans because if you do you're gonna lose.
What a match up we have here. You have the Cincinnati Bengals, who started the season 0-2 and rallied to finish 11-5 as the #6 seed in the AFC. You then have the Houston Texans, who went 12-4 but have lost two of their last four games heading into the playoffs. The spread might be at 4.5 in favor of Houston but this game can go either way. Tensions and emotions are at an all-time right now, who will break first...only time will tell.
Coach Hersh brings his Bengals to Houston as the underdog and that's exactly what he wants. It wasn't a pretty 11-5 this season but it was an 11-5 and that's all that matters. How did they do it? Defense...defense and more defense. Only giving up 212 points (13 per game) and causing over 40 turnovers this season. One key stat to look at when looking at the Bengals is that they had 5 shut outs this season, most in Bengals history.
Obviously the key to their success is Andy Dalton. It's not so much for him to take over and win the game, it's more that he limits his interceptions and spreads the ball around instead of focusing on AJ Green. As the season progressed him and Coach Hersh bonded and figured things out but there was a rough patch where Dalton was considered being benched. Things have since worked themselves out.
On the other side of the field you have the quiet storm that is the Houston Texans. Boy oh boy have they slid under the radar until recently. Houston has a history of making playoff runs in the COFL but can Coach Johnny Boy Jones make it happen for them as his predecessors have? Only way they can is if DeSean Watson continues his stellar play, not only through the air but on the ground.
It's obvious that this game will come down to defense and turnovers. The Texans have the better defense but COFL Experts are predicting the Bengals to take this one home and advance to the Divisional Round.
Spread: Texans -4.5
Bengals - 17
Texans - 9