So once again we find our Houston Texans favored to win a football game. And once again, they are favored by 9.5 points. This time, they’re favored to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: He who forgets history is doomed to repeat it. And he who does not know his history with the Texans might find himself doomed to losing his cash if he takes the Texans with that point spread.
History lesson number one. The Texans have never won three straight games. Should they defeat the Bengals, they would be winning three straight.
History lesson number two: On November 3, 2002, the Houston Texans were favored to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans were 2-5 at the time; the Bengals were 0-7. Bengal wide receiver Chad Johnson guaranteed to the masses that the Bengals would win the game, and he was mocked near and far. The Texans took the early 3-0 that day. But the winless Bengals and Chad Johnson had the last laugh as the Bengals won 38-3.
Flash forward to this week where the 2-4 Texans are favored to defeat the 0-6 Cincinnati Bengals. And while not guaranteeing a victory, Chad
Johnson Ocho Cinco (he had his name legally changed before the start of the season) has guaranteed that the Bengals will finish the season at 8-8. This means they’re going to have to start winning games soon. And once again, Johnson Ocho Cinco is being mocked.
History lesson number three: On November 27, 2005, the Houston Texans had the 24-3 halftime lead over the St. Louis Rams. The staring QB for the Rams, Jamie Martin, had been knocked out of the game with an injury late in the first quarter. His replacement, playing in his first NFL game, came on to throw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning TD in overtime, as the Rams won the game 33-27. The name of the quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Flash forward to this week. The Bengals number one quarterback, Carson Palmer, is unable to play because of an elbow injury. His replacement is Ryan Fitzpatrick.
So we have learned that the Texans have never won three straight games. That when facing the Bengals with similar records in the past, the Bengals have won. And that when the Bengals QB has faced the Texans before, he has picked them to pieces.
That 9.5 point spread might be a bit much.
As for some additional analysis, how about this? The Texans are next to last in the NFL in points surrendered this season, giving up 29.8 points a game. The Bengals only give up 26 points per game. The Texans surrender 216.8 yards per game by pass, while the Bengals only surrender 179.1 yards per game. The Texans surrender an average of 338.8 yards per game, while the Bengals defense surrenders only 331.4 yards.
It’s true that Texans have one of the best offenses in the NFL, averaging 369.5 yards per game. So they should be able to handle the Bengals defense. Then again, the Texans are the second worst team in the NFL regarding turnovers with a minus-nine turnover ratio.
And while the Bengals offense hasn’t been that great this year, it’s got to be remembered that they have not faced any defense as bad as the Texans this year. They took the Giants to overtime. They nearly beat the Cowboys back when the Cowboys were operating on all cylinders. They stayed close for three quarters against Pittsburgh, and played them much better than the Texans did.
The Texans defense had trouble shutting down the Detroit Lions last week, and the Lions had only one legit offensive weapon. The Bengals, while operating with a backup QB, still have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. They have two legit weapons in Chad
Johnson Ocho Cinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. And if Chris Henry isn’t arrested between today and Sunday, he’s also a legit receiving weapon.
If the Texans had trouble stopping the Lions, just think of what might happen with the Bengals. Even with backup Ryan Fitzpatrick starting for the Bengals.
The Texans should win this game. But history and the stats tell us not to expect a 9.5 point cakewalk victory. I will not forget my Texans history. You shouldn’t forget it either. – John Royal