The Bengals went to 8-0 beating the Browns last week. Is Andy Dalton over his prime time struggles?
Not only do I think Dalton is over it, he's a legitimate MVP candidate to this point. He's won his last two games in prime time, and I expect this week's game will make it three in a row. Next week he gets another at Arizona, but there's no shame in losing to the Cardinals if it goes that way.
The Texans come in with former Browns QB Brian Hoyer, and he's beaten the Bengals before. Does that make you nervous?
Not really. Outside of their star WR DeAndre Hopkins, there isn't much there. They can't run the ball and the OL has been awful. They will probably try to do a lot of screen passes and hope for a big play or two from Hopkins. Losing Arian Foster has really hurt them. Hopkins will make some plays but it won't be enough.
JJ Watt is one of the best players in the league. Will the Bengals be up to the task?
The Bengals effectively took Watt out of the game in last years' win over the Texans, and obviously will try the same approach. The key will be to stay out of 3rd and long, that's where Watts eats. The Texans lead the league in 3rd down defense, so it's important to make gains on the early downs. That being said, it's asking a lot to shut Watt out two times in a row. Quite frankly it may be impossible.
You said two weeks ago that Tyler Eifert was one of the biggest differences in the Bengals this year, and he went off on the Browns. How's he going to do this week?
Eifert leads all NFL TE in touchdowns and he's going to be good every week. If he's not catching the ball he's making key blocks, but he's also one of the best red zone players in the entire league. Get used to it, the kid is great. The mini-Gronk moniker handed to him isn't that far off.
So how does the Texans game play out? What's the prediction this week?
The Bengals should be able to run the ball effectively, and defensively it could be a field day for Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. These teams on paper simply don't match up, very similarly to the Browns last week. The Bengals move to a franchise record 9-0.
Bengals 31, Texans 17.