5 Reasons The Cincinatti Bengals Will Win (AJ)
1. Cincinnati is one of the NFL’s hottest teams, having won seven of eight to secure a wild card spot. Their last game – a victory over AFC North big brother Baltimore, who spanked them in Week 1- cemented their status as a tough, playoff-ready team. Meanwhile…
2. Houston has lost three of four, including that embarrassing blowout to New England. The NFL playoffs generally favor teams entering the postseason with momentum, and Houston peaked during the first half of the season.
3. The Bengals has a solid away season, going 6-2 on the road. Home field advantage won’t play much of a factor.
4. Cincinnati’s defense has actually given up fewer yards than the Texans this season. Don’t be fooled by the breakout season that JJ Watt has had; the Bengals have the better front seven of the two teams, bolstered by an elite young pass rushing duo in Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson. Cornerback Leon Hall and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga also represent some of the best at their position.
5. Houston is hurting, especially on defense where Brian Cushing’s injury has forced them to operate a linebacker-by-committee type rotation. Their secondary has also been getting torched as of late; even if they manage to cover AJ Green deep, slept-on tight end Jermaine Gresham will torment Houston up the middle.
Final Score: 24-20, Bengals