Week 16 - Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans

The 5-8-1 Cincinnati Bengals travel to Houston to take on the 8-6 Texans in this Saturday afternoon matchup after coming off very different weeks. The Bengals blew a 20-9 halftime lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers before losing 24-20 as they were shut out in the second half. Houston was losing 13-5 at halftime to the Jacksonville Jaguars only to win 21-20. Brock Osweiler was benched after throwing interceptions on 2 consecutive second quarter drives. Osweiler’s replacement was backup Tom Savage who led the comeback.

Before being replaced Osweiler had a quarterback rating of 3.3 as he completed 6 of 11 passes for 48 yards, 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Savage finished 23 of 36 for 260 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. DeAndre Hopkins led the team with 87 yards on 8 catches. Ryan Griffin also had a nice game with 8 catches for 85 yards. They struggled running the ball gaining just 79 yards on 31 carries, which is an average of 2.5 yards per carry. Lamar Miller led the team with 63 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Defensively they dominated the Jaguars as they allowed 159 total yards as they gave up 67 rushing yards and 92 passing yards. They intercepted Blake Bortles once and sacked him twice for a loss of 9 yards. Jacksonville’s longest play from scrimmage was 17 yards and the Texans had 4 tackles for losses. In their last 5 games Houston’s defense has allowed their opponents to average 21 points per game.

Cincinnati’s offense was only able to gain 233 yards of total offense last week. Andy Dalton struggled as he finished with a quarterback rating of 49.3. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 157 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. His favorite target was Brandon LaFell who gained 91 yards on 7 receptions. No other Bengal receiver had more than 18 receiving yards. They also had problems running the ball gaining just 76 yards on 28 carries. Jeremy Hill led the team with 43 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Defensively, they were unable to force a turnover and sacked Ben Roethlisberger once for a loss of 1 yard. They did a good job against the rush as the Steelers gained 97 yards on 29 carries, which is an average of 3.3 yards per carry. Over their last 5 games the Bengals have allowed their opponents to score an average of 16.5 points per game.

Houston has gone 6-7-1 against the spread this season including 4-2-1 at home. The Bengals have gone 6-8 against the spread this season including 3-4 on the road. Houston will have home field advantage in this game and is favored by 1 point. Tom Savage has been named the starter this week for the Texans and will be making the first start of his career. Cincinnati has been eliminated from the playoff chase, while the Texans still have a chance at winning the AFC South.

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