Team has no room for error against Bengals today
The NFL Playoffs begin Saturday afternoon as the Houston Texans host the Cincinnati Bengals at Reliant Stadium. The Texans closed the regular season by losing three of their last four games, and if they are to turn things around, they'll have to contain Houston native Andy Dalton, Cincinnati's second year quarterback. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is impressed by the Katy High School product.
“Last year he did some rookie things. This year he’s not. He’s very poised. He sees more things than he did last year,” Phillips said.
These two teams are familiar with each other, and they’ve met with their seasons on the line before. The Texans beat the Bengals 31-10 in last year's Wild Card playoff game at Reliant Stadium. Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham told KTRH Cincinnati wants revenge.
“They feel a little sense of redemption if they can pull it off after stumbling so badly against the Texans last season,” Lapham said.
Lapham also said the Bengals know it won’t be easy. That’s because of the home field advantage the Texans enjoy at Reliant.
“The players remember the noise and how beautifully the fans supported the Texans. They know they are going into a very hostile environment,” Lapham explained.
But the Texans have struggled over the last month. And because of those struggles, many of the national experts think Saturday’s game could be the end of the season for J.J. Watt’s team. Watt, who was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for December, says the Texans need to flip the switch and get back to the way they were playing when they were 11-1.
“We have to get back to scoring on defense, making huge plays. We have to have fun. We want to have fun,” Watt said.
While the Texans stumbled in December, the Bengals got red hot. They have won seven of their last eight games.
Today's kickoff at Reliant Stadium is at 3:30pm.
Hear the podcast with Matt Patrick and Houston's Morning News as he talks with former Texans coach Charlie Casserly: