2015 NFL Monday Night Football – Week 10 Texans at Bengals

NFL Monday Night Football on November 16, 2015, sees the Houston Texans                     (3-5) visit the Cincinnati Bengals (8-0). If the Bengals are victorious, it will mark their longest winning streak ever. If Houston wins, they will continue to be in contention with the Indianapolis Colts (4-5) for first place in the AFC South. The Bengals are at -10.5 and the over/under is 47. Here’s the way we see this game going down.

Recent Play

Houston has been playing inconsistent football all season long. In their past five games, the Texans are 2-3. In their last game, two weeks ago, they beat the Titans 20-6. Their other victory was versus the Jaguars on October 18. That score was 34-21. Their losses have been to Miami, Indy, and Atlanta. Miami and Atlanta blew them out of the water. In those three losses, the average margin of loss for Houston has been minus 17.

Cincinnati has been perfect this season. Their last five games have resulted in victories against Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Seattle, and Kansas City. Their biggest winning margin in that time has been 21 points, which was last week against the Browns, and their smallest was three points when they played Seattle. Their average margin of victory over those five games is 11.5 points.

Key Matches

The primary matchup for the Cincinnati offense is between their QB Andy Dalton and the Houston defense. The Texans have plagued him over the years. But Dalton is having a career season, completing almost 68% of his passes while tossing 18 TDs and just 4 INTs. His rating is an impressive 111.0.

For Monday’s game, the Texan defense will be without cornerback Kareem Jackson and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. Still, they have some potent pass rushers led by J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Together they have 14 of the team’s 20 sacks. If they can get to Dalton, then Houston will have a chance on Monday night.

But that means that the Texans will need to be able to permeate what is one of the best offensive lines in the game today. That Bengal O-line will play an important part in this game. Plus, Houston must cover a very effective group of receivers that includes TE Tyler Eifert (9 TDs) and WR A.J. Green (4 TDs), and they must stop an extremely productive ground attack that includes Giovani Bernard (5.6 AVG, 3 TDs) and Jeremy Hill (3.3 AVG, 5 TDs).

The Texan offense is about passing. Houston’s running game is especially weak. The question becomes can QB Brian Hoyer (60% COMP, 13 TDs, 3 INTs, 97.1 RAT) connect enough times with his top receivers to get the job done. He’s going to have to find wideouts DeAndre Hopkins ( 6 TDs, 10 COMP 20+ YDS) and Nate Washington (3 TDs, 6 COMP 20+ YDS) again and again. These two are premium pass catchers. Plus, there’s WR Cecil Shorts III and RB Adrian Foster. Both have made three touchdown catches.

Hoyer will have to deal with the very fine pass rush that the Bengals bring to this game. The top sack masters are Carlos Dunlap (8.5 Sacks. 4 TFL) and Geno Aikens (6.0 Sacks, 4 TFL, 1 FF). The Bengals also post a fine secondary that’s led by FS Reggie Nelson (4 PD, 3 INTs). There’s not much concern about the Houston ground attack, which Cincinnati should easily control.

Our Pick

Some prognosticators have noted that there’s something to be said for Houston keeping this one close and, perhaps, even winning it outright. Dalton has always struggled against the Texans, and the Houston club can score points. But this is a new Andy Dalton; he’s playing much differently this year. Plus, the Bengals have a very diversified attack that includes a strong running game.

This is Cincinnati at home with a chance to make history and that equals a blowout. We are taking the Bengals at -10.5 and the over. Final score is 37-14 in favor of the Cincinnati Bengals.

November 15, 2015 by : Posted in NFL, Sportsbook No Comments

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