Texans beat Bengals in defensive struggle, head to New England

Reuters

The good news for the Houston Texans is that they won their wild card playoff game against the Bengals. The bad news is that now they have to return to New England, five weeks after they were blown out there — and having done nothing to suggest they can beat the Patriots this time.

Yes, the Texans deserve credit for winning a playoff game, and a few players on the Texans — notably defensive lineman J.J. Watt and running back Arian Foster — deserve a lot of credit. But this game was often ugly, and the Texans didn’t look like a team that’s likely to go to New England and beat the Patriots.

Watt was his usual disruptive self at the line of scrimmage, recording one sack after leading the league with 20.5 in the regular season, and forcing the Bengals to double him all game — and sometimes making plays even when he was doubled. Watt was widely regarded as the best defensive player in the NFL during the regular season, and he’s a force in the postseason as well.

The Texans’ defense was aided by awful play calling from the Bengals in the first half: Receiver A.J. Green, the Bengals’ best offensive player, never even had a pass thrown his way until midway through the third quarter. Green ended up having an excellent second half once Cincinnati started getting him the ball, and he got open in the end zone on a deep ball that could have given the Bengals a game-sealing touchdown, but Andy Dalton overthrew Green, and after that the Bengals had dug too big a hole for themselves to recover.

Houston’s offense was led by Foster, who had an outstanding game, and by strong play from the offensive line. Quarterback Matt Schaub, however, was skittish throughout the game, and Schaub misfiring was the biggest reason the Texans had to settle for field goals on four drives. He’ll have to be better next weekend for the Texans to have any chance of beating the Patriots.

In fact, the Texans as a team will have to be much better next weekend to have any chance of beating the Patriots. On December 10, the Patriots beat the Texans 42-14. On January 13, the Texans will have to be better than they were on Saturday if they want to avoid the same fate.

103 responses to “Texans beat Bengals in defensive struggle, head to New England

  1. Sure.

    Dalton is a softy, a soft arm combined with a soft head, equaling a dud of a QB.

    Rey Maualuga isn’t just a turd, he’s terrible against the run and the pass, more so against the pass though, just brutal.

    Jermaine Gresham shouldn’t have a job either, other than being tall, he has nothing going for him.

  2. With over twenty-two years without a playoff victory, this franchise is a consistent failure. The Bengals are pathetic and have no future. They have zero clutch players and freeze in big games.

  3. New England will dominate the Texans, no question about it. The Texans have played terrible ball the last few games and it has carried over into the playoffs. The Bengals were just a few plays away from winning this game (or few better play calls). Oh and Schuab is not a franchise QB.

  4. I know they’re the Bengals but even for them you have to wonder why they bring Marvin Lewis back every year. They always look so outmatched in the playoffs, and they were playing a team that was reeling. Foster ran all over them and that’s that. Another butt whoopin awaits the Texans at Gillette.

  5. Again the Bungals don’t win a playoff game, what 17 years since. Another head coach in Lewis should gone but Brown won’t let go.

  6. Congratulations Houston, you beat Andy Dalton with one decent receiver. How do you think you will do in cold New England against Tom Brady with Welker, Gronkowski, Hernandez and Lloyd??

  7. Mayock is awful. He doesn’t shut up for a second all game. For all of his talking he totally ignored the huge break cincy got when burfict committed that pf with just over 2 mins left. His penalty stopped the clock before the 2 min warning forcing Houston to run plays instead of 3 victory formation snaps. What game is this idiot watching? Instead of saying how great everyone’s fundamentals are how about paying attention to you know….the actual game?

  8. Enjoy that 6 point win at home Texans, it ends next week!

    NE by at least 2 Td’s.
    it’s just not a good matchup.
    They destroyed you before WITHOUT Gronk, to many weapons.
    The defensive scheme Wade Philips runs feeds into what TB12 does, kill the blitz.

  9. Both teams were so bad on offense.

    Now that Gronk is back, an even bigger beatdown by the Pats is coming up. I was afraid of Houston playing well and coming to New England full of confidence but they still look bad (except for Foster, Joseph and Watt).

    As a Pats fan I’m glad Cincinnati didn’t win as Dalton would have given the Broncos defense a bye week.

  10. Carson Palmer is still laughing at this pathetic offense. 3/10 3yds by Dalton in the first half! Talk about shame.

  11. With Houston going to New England this will set up probably the most hyped divisional game ever if the colts win tomorrow and they face manning and the broncos next week

  12. As a Texans fan, the truth about my team is that we go as far as our defense takes us. The Texans are a defensive, run first football team so it does not make sense to pay a quarterback 14 million dollars when he struggles to throw the ball over 25 yards while the head coach has him dinking and donking.
    Last year, other fans told me that if the Texans had a healthy Matt Schaub then they would have reached the Super Bowl. Well, Matt Schaub is healthy this season so he can prove his worth by beating the Patriots.

  13. Yes, we need to move on from Dalton. That miss to Green in the end zone was embarrassing. How open does someone have to be?

  14. texans probably only eat new england clam chowder till they go to new england to practice eating new englad. only thing is patriots aint gonna go down as easy as chowder LOL

  15. God they are horrible. Won at home by 6 points when the opposing qb had negative passing yards going into the 3rd. They better bring their A game if they plan on even making a game out of it in New England. Brady/Manning AFC championship once again.

  16. “Dalton is a softy, a soft arm combined with a soft head, equaling a dud of a QB.

    Rey Maualuga isn’t just a turd, he’s terrible against the run and the pass, more so against the pass though, just brutal.

    Jermaine Gresham shouldn’t have a job either, other than being tall, he has nothing going for him.”

    ——————————————————-

    As a Bengal Fan I would love to disagree with that….. but I just can’t….. it’s true.

  17. Dalton can’t throw good enough deep ball accurate as u seen tday

    Bengals off looks so boring I didn’t even turn on game till 4 qtr

    Would be major upset if Houston be patriots

  18. In what universe is it a “game plan” to take your league leading sack unit, and completely neutralize them by running a tecmo-bowl style zone defense for 95% of the snaps.

  19. I didnt sense much intensity or determination from the Bengals or Texans. This game is why the NFL shouldnt expand its playoff format. It was just another game.

  20. Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since before they ended Bo Jackson’s career.

    They’re clearly forever cursed for robbing us all from seeing what Bo could have achieved.

  21. Dalton is a softy, a soft arm combined with a soft head, equaling a dud of a QB.

    Rey Maualuga isn’t just a turd, he’s terrible against the run and the pass, more so against the pass though, just brutal.

    Jermaine Gresham shouldn’t have a job either, other than being tall, he has nothing going for him.
    ————————————————————-

    Couldn’t have said it any better, I lost count of the number of missed reads and throws from Dalton.

    Maualuga got burned so bad I thought that’s why he left the field. He just never adjusted, every single crossing route I look back and there he is, staggering towards the sideline.

    As bad as Dalton played I felt sorry for him when Gresham was running sloppy routes and tipping/dropping all his passes.

  22. Jay Gruden cost himself a head coaching job next year.

    Dalton was absolutely awful.

    Rey Maualuga was exposed all game long.

    Jermaine Gresham dropped 3-4 passes (Rob Gronkowski was available when Cincy took Gresham in the draft btw).

  23. Yea, we all know. What about Chip Kelly. I wanna hear something about coaching. How did the interviews go?

  24. The Texans are a talented team and are certainly capable of beating the Patriots, but they have a number of things going against them next Sunday:

    1.) The Patriots whooped Houston 4 weeks ago without one of the most dominant offensive weapons in the league in Gronk. He’s back, rested, and hungry. Don’t discount his effect on the Patriots run game as well.

    2.) The Patriots look to be at full strength for the first time all season. They are rested, and the majority of this team has the big game experience from last year to help them prepare.

    3.) Houston was a slightly overthrown pass to AJ Green from possibly losing this game today. Shaub was lackluster and they won by 6 against a team with zero offense. Brady and the Patriots are on a different level than Cinci.

    Should be a fun week Houston fans. See you Sunday in Foxboro.

  25. I’am glad the Texans won, but all they did was delay the obvious; NO SUPER BOWL!! The Patriots will kick their a@@, unless they get some male kahonies, man up, and play with revenge on their minds for that butt whipping 5 weeks ago.Oh, and score TOUCHDOWNS, dammit, not FG’S.

  26. I hope now all u New England haters will shut your mouth and get ready for a traditional ass whipping from the the Pats….I’ve been reading many posts by many pats haters and I just can’t wait for Brady to smack all of u in the mouth an d take control of the AFC….LOL!!!!!
    The Texans r so flawed and look so ridiculous in there win today over Cindy…..both of these teams are garbage and bring on the texans to Foxboro….I just hope all u haters about the Pats that were commenting on this site earlier will step up and run your mouth now and even after the PATS win it all….u Maggots!!!!!!!

  27. The Bengals should have bundled those draft picks they got from Oakland and traded up for a real QB. Opie Dalton didn’t look any better than he did last year. 0 for 9 on third down? Ouch. The Bungals are well on their way to 30 years without a playoff win. An absolute joke of a franchise.

  28. Third straight win for the Texans over the bungles. Texans manhandled the bungles and moved the ball down the field at will. Since Florio picked the bungles to win I am making him an honorary bungle.

  29. Not a fan of either teams… but man Dalton really sucks.
    AJ Green with a capable quarterback would have CJ numbers.

  30. Same ole Bungles, they will be a wild card team at best until they fire Lewis and get a real QB. If they don’t blow it up in the offseason, look for them to be the bottom feeders of the AFC North next season, ( where they rightfully belong,) even the browns could’ve put up a better effort than they did tonight.

  31. What a gross game to watch.

    Texans SHOULD get beat by NE but the Pats kinda do have the reputation for losing their opening playoff game at home to teams they SHOULD beat in recent years and Houston has the offense good enough capable of “turning it on” so who knows who’ll win…Vegas!

  32. Say what you want, but at least they made the playoffs. Andy dalton is gaining more experience.

    Marvin should have been gone several years ago.

    I am hoping that the Texans coaching staff figured out what they did wrong and figure how to put the pressure on TB. Hate for the Pats to go to another SB

  33. Bengals u need a second wr to compliment aj everyone wants to kick u when u down but from a steelers die hard fan it sucks to get beat but sucks more not making it good luck next season except against the steelers

  34. I am a patriots fan but I can’t stand the other patriots fans here saying we will jut roll over them. Did we not learn our lesson? Stop gloating we still have to how up. Should be a good game next week

  35. I don’t think there’s anybody in the country who hasn’t been reminded repeatedly, that the Patriots embarrassed the Texans a month ago. We get it.

    But this is a new season and the regular season means nothing now

  36. Soooo….New England beat the living snot out of the Texans at home last time when the game was the “biggest game in franchise history”……..

    Brady is going to abuse the Texans again.

  37. Go Texans!!!

    So Florio picked the Bengals while Andy Dalton and Benjarvus Green-Ellis’ flaws, correct???

    Florio needs to stop crapping on Matt Schaub!!!!

    ALWAYS take the team with the decent defense and a better offense!!!

    New Rule: You have to own up to bad foresight when it featured you having holes in your argument!!!

  38. I love two things about all of the comments here:
    1. Raiders fans trash talking anyone, you haven’t had a winning season since 2002, go back to the corner and sit down.

    2. Patriots fans just thinking next week is a sure thing, didn’t you think the same thing when you went to play Jax? Didn’t you almost lose that game? If the Texans can run the ball and JJ Watt plays well (he was awful a month ago) then the Texans have a fighting chance.

  39. To Patriots fans that talk trash in advance of a game: you are the antithesis of your favorite team whose players and coaches know to keep their mouths shut. Talk is cheap. Execution wins games.

    I have been to Gillette Stadium. Alas, Patriots fans include a diverse group of people but way too many fools. The rest of the Patriots fans ask the intelligent folk reading these posts to not lump all Pats’ fans in within the obnoxious minority. We remember the horrible years and respectfully appreciate our blessings.

  40. We will see next week if my texans r pretenders. Remember pats fans…u and the invincible brady got slapped by a semi pro by the name of sanchez weeks after the pats obliterated them a couple yrs ago. And, U did get embarrassed, at home, by the niners…a similar run 1st, defensive team like the texans. The pats didnt win the divisional rd 3 weeks ago. That is why they play the game. Good luck keeping watt off brady for 4 more quarters.

  41. Pats fans are funny.

    Wasn’t it just a couple years ago that the Pats throttled the Jets just weeks before facing them again in the Divisional Playoffs, which they were physically dominated and lost in Foxboro?

    The Pats have problems against hard-nosed, physical teams. Will be good to see what Kubiak and Phillips come up with against Brady and Belichik.

    Schaub needs to man up too.

  42. Andy Dalton did not step up this year at all. In his defense, he has only one good WR in Green and Gresham is a liability at TE. No doubt these positions will be addressed in the draft, along with RB too. Tightwad Mike Brown throws around nickels like they’re manhole covers, so don’t expect any free agents either.

  43. Am a pats fan. dont think it will be that easy this time around. even if the pats win, it will be a real close one. Brooks reed and garrett graham weren’t in that one… and of course for the pats, GRONK will be back..

  44. It is really weird that Raiders fans are all over this thread. Your season ended ten weeks ago…aren’t your parole officers missing you yet?

  45. Just seems like yesterday when if you wanted to score over 100 points in a game of Tecmo, you played against the Pats. We will never forget! Hahahaha

  46. raymondtx says:
    Jan 5, 2013 8:52 PM
    We will see next week if my texans r pretenders. Remember pats fans…u and the invincible brady got slapped by a semi pro by the name of sanchez weeks after the pats obliterated them a couple yrs ago. And, U did get embarrassed, at home, by the niners…a similar run 1st, defensive team like the texans. The pats didnt win the divisional rd 3 weeks ago. That is why they play the game. Good luck keeping watt off brady for 4 more quarters.

    That’s ridiculous, the Texans defense isn’t anything like the 49ers.
    Wade Philips scheme feeds into what Brady excels at, killing the blitz.

    And please is that what Texans fans are grasping onto, “you beat the jets 2 years ago then lost to them in the playoffs”.

  47. As a Texans fan, ugly, ugly win. Ugly finish into the playoffs. They are not any more ready for NE than they were 5 weeks ago. But hey, there is this really small chance they play their best game this year while Brady has temporary back spasms. So yeah, I’ll watch, and yeah, I’ll get excited if they win the coin toss and score a TD on the first drive, and if Watt then forces a fumble on their firt posession. Other than that, I’m not going to get my hopes up. Don’t want to get hurt.

  48. Rooting against the Patriots because you just want to see a different team in the AFC Championship or the SB is foolish. Do you want to see the best compete or the lucky? Brady versus Manning is like Hagler versus Hearns. If you are an NFC fan don’t you want to beat the best? The Giants did and it made victory that much more special.

  49. I felt Houston would win and I think Baltimore will beat Indy handily. I believe NE will defeat Houston next week, but not by a lot; Texans have a puncher’s chance and anything can happen. Take it from a very old Pats fan, you inexperienced Pats fans should show some class and more respect for Houston. The previous encounter means nothing; especially if Brady was to get hurt early, so please quit the being obnoxious punks.

  50. I’m no Dalton fan but the kid is like 25 years old maximum (im guessing). He is a red head who likely doesn’t have much more to do than prove all the people who made fun of him throughout his life wrong. He is not going anywhere and this talk of him being a backup is just plain sad to see. Talk about ESPN pumping up stories. Look at what comes out of your own mouth

  51. After the Bungals have lost another playoff game will Mr Brown finally turn on the lightbulb and have Marvin goes his marry way.

  52. Wow, these playoffs suck so far, niners gonna spank the pack, they lucky the gmen didnt make it

  53. As a Pats fan this reminds me eerily of the situation with the Jets a few years ago when the Pats crushed them late in the season and then lost to them badly in the playoffs.

    Something tells me Belichick will be bringing that up to the team just to make sure no one is complacent.

  54. Patriot fan here. Let’s not get to over confident. That’s why they play the games.

  55. Great. Another boring football game coming up next week. Texans are at best unimpressive. Brady will make quick work. The game won’t be worth watching. Just like both games today were unwatchable.

  56. atwatercrushesokoye says: Jan 5, 2013 8:46 PM

    1. Raiders fans trash talking anyone, you haven’t had a winning season since 2002, go back to the corner and sit down.
    ————-
    1. The 2002 season was the last time an AFC West team even made a Championship game. Bengals fans-both of them-having been talking trash since last October, but always fail to mention that their new starting quarterback is absolute garbage. The Bengals are wasting a solid defense by refusing to address their offense.

    2. Good fans support bad teams. They don’t sit down.

  57. I have to say that all I could think about watching this game was how bad the two QBs were. How many 8-yard passes on 3rd-and-11 did this game include?

  58. As a die hard Bengals fan I am sick of getting my hopes up just to watch them choke in another primetime game. As for Dalton if you take in consideration that if greashem would have not dropped the 3 balls (4 total) he would have been 6 of 10 in the first half if not better because all 3 of those drops would have converted for first downs… plus he has no time to throw the football because the O-Line can’t seem to stop anybody.. Not trying to back Dalton but it is not all his fault, yes he should have hit Green for the wide open TD but I see Brady or Manning miss open guys on deep balls also. nobody is perfect
    Jay Gruden was the man reason why they lost today that was the worst play calling that I have seen in forever. would not hurt my feeling to see him and Maualuga both be gone next year and I would rather see Zimmer as head coach and Marvin as a GM…
    and as usual being a die hard fan come next season I will have my hopes up once again let’s just hope that they can take it to the next level and get over the hump and prove that they are the Bengals and no longet the Bungals…..Go Bengals

  59. ravensdominate says:
    Two terrible teams… And you people were talking trash about the ravens! What a joke.

    ————

    I was about to agree, then I remembered one of these “terrible teams” absolutely blew the doors off the Ravens and the other team beat them just last week.

    Now that’s a joke!

  60. Gee, the Eagles are interviewing Jay Gruden. It will be just like with Andy Reed, out coached and zero adjustments made. Someone needs to tell Andy Dalton you have to lead the receiver when you throw the deep ball. The Bengals defense deserved a better fate.

  61. Hmm…so I would have love to been a fly on the wall while the Bengals were game planning for this game.

    You know, the part about completely ignoring your only explosive weapon in the passing game for the entire first half, despite your defense bailing your offense out and keeping the Texans out of the end zone?

    Absolutely unacceptable. Anyone GM/owner who tries to hire Jay Gruden to do anything but carry Jon Gruden’s jock strap should be fired. Immediately.

  62. They forgot to mention that Watt’s ‘sack’ happened when Dalton tripped over him while Watt was laying on the field, lol!
    And Shaub’s best pass was the pick-6 to the Bungles!
    I can’t believe how boring these 2 wild-card games have been, the Pack vs Web and the Vikes being just as bad as the Texans non-win.
    Pats will roll next week, it won’t even be close!

  63. To my interstate rivals I would like to welcome the Bengles to the couch. Please make yourself comfortable right next to the Stealers and we can all watch the playoffs together. Kumbaya…

  64. Was that really the best broadcast team we could come up with for a playoff game?

    The Bengals need to raise their expectation level.

    Playing 9 – 3 and 12 – 6 games against the Ravens and Steelers isn’t such good preparation for the real world of the playoffs.

  65. I’m sure Coach Bill will use everything in his power to keep everyone on an even keel prepping for the Texans. He will not let their heads swell by pointing out any weaknesses, individually or collectively. He won’t let the team get complacent.

  66. Will be good to see what Kubiak and Phillips come up with against Brady and Belichik.
    ————————————————–
    Even with the misspellings, I’ll take that match-up all day long.

    Phillips historically has had success vs Belichick, but his style of defenses usually get carved up by Brady. With the return of Gronk, and the rest of the Brady bunch healthy, I just don’t think that any of the AFC field can slow down the Pats if they play good football.

  67. Andy Dalton did not step up this year at all. In his defense, he has only one good WR in Green and Gresham is a liability at TE. No doubt these positions will be addressed in the draft, along with RB too. Tightwad Mike Brown throws around nickels like they’re manhole covers, so don’t expect any free agents either.

    —–

    You must have forgot Laveranues Coles and Antonio Bryant. Mike Brown should stay away from signing free agents.

  68. Let’s see, the Texans put up 420 yards of offense and over 33 minutes of possession against a defense that was one of the best in the league the second half of the season. The team that was leading the league in sacks didn’t sack Schaub once and only hit him two times. They gave up 140 yards rushing to Foster. The Texans only had one touchdown but moved the ball all day long on them.

    The defense for the Texans held the offense, which had been scoring around 24 pts/gm to only 6 points. They shut down the running game and the passing game, and played like they had the first 12 weeks.

    To say they played poorly against the Bengals is just false. They may not have scored 30 on them, but they outplayed them in every aspect of the game.

    Saying they’re going to get destroyed in NE is just short-sightedness. They won’t play as badly as they did week 14 and they certainly won’t have the same gameplan. Plus they showed in last year’s playoffs that they can hang despite the odds when they almost beat the “unbeatable at home” Ravens with a 3rd string QB.

  69. First of all, let me say that I don’t care how many thumbs down or asinine I receive, I AM DAMN PROUD OF THE CINCINNATI BENGALS! They overcame an mid-season 4 game losing streak. They beat a divisional opponent and perennial powerhouse in the Steelers to qualify for the playoffs. Top ten defense, AND for the first time in team history, qualified for the playoffs in back to back seasons! Were they perfect? No. They offense became stagnant with Dalton regressing a little possibly due to a lack of a consistent running game, inconsistency on the offensive line and/or Mohamed Sanu going down. Gresham regressed a little with his pass catching. Still, there is plenty to build on for next season.

    To coach Lewis and Mike Brown, coaches Zimmer and Gruden, thank you for back to back winning seasons and lets get geared up for the 2013-14 season! Who Dey!

    So for all the one and done comments, last time I checked 12 of 32 teams made the playoffs. If your team was not one of the final twelve, you don’t qualify to comment.

    Longest active playoff game victory drought-
    Cincinnati Bengals (1990 AFC Wild Card Playoffs) 22yrs
    Detroit Lions (1991 NFC Divisional Playoffs) 21yrs
    Kansas City Chiefs (1993 AFC Divisional Playoffs) 19yrs
    Buffalo Bills (1995 AFC Wild Card Playoffs) 17yrs
    Cleveland Browns (1994 AFC Wild Card Playoffs) 15yrs
    Miami Dolphins (2000 AFC Wild Card Playoffs) 12yrs
    Oakland Raiders (2002 AFC Championship) 10yrs
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002 Super Bowl XXXVII) 10yrs
    Tennessee Titans (2003 AFC Wild Card Playoffs) 9yrs
    St. Louis Rams (2004 NFC Wild Card Playoffs) 8yrs
    Atlanta Falcons (2004 NFC Divisional Playoffs*) 8yrs
    Carolina Panthers (2005 NFC Divisional Playoffs) 7yrs
    Washington Redskins (2005 NFC Wild Card Playoffs) 7yrs
    Jacksonville Jaguars (2007 AFC Wild Card Playoffs) 5yrs
    Philadelphia Eagles (2008 NFC Divisional Playoffs) 4yrs
    San Diego Chargers (2008 AFC Wild Card Playoffs) 4yrs
    Arizona Cardinals (2009 NFC Wild Card Playoffs) 3yrs
    Dallas Cowboys (2009 NFC Wild Card Playoffs) 3yrs
    Minnesota Vikings (2009 NFC Divisional Playoffs) 3yrs
    Indianapolis Colts (2009 AFC Championship Game) 3yrs
    Chicago Bears (2010 NFC Divisional Playoffs) 2yrs
    New York Jets (2010 AFC Divisional Playoffs) 2yrs
    Pittsburgh Steelers (2010 AFC Championship Game) 2yrs

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