Unfortunately for LaFell and company, the Bengals missed that field goal as time expired, giving Houston the win and the playoff berth.
Coach Bill O’Brien stayed with Savage this week and the third-year player will make his first career start against the Bengals.
Cincinnati needs big games from Andy Dalton at quarterback and Jeremy Hill coming out of the backfield. Tonight we have an AFC matchup between the 5-8-1 Cincinnati Bengals and the 8-6 Houston Texans, in balmy Houston, Texas.
The Texans could have clinched the AFC South with a win and a Titans loss, but with Tennessee beating Jacksonville, Houston just has to win to hold serve. But after a slow start, the Texans’ running back group combined for 95 yards on 24 carries. There was 3 points scored total by the Bengals on a field goal to end the half.
One club insider said while Green was disappointed with the call, he wanted to go home to spend Christmas Eve with his new son. So he stopped his feet and I just took it up the sideline. It hurts for me and it hurts for everyone on this team. We’re playing to win.
CINCINNATI KEY TRENDS: The Bengals are 10-2-2 at the betting window in their last 14 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous contest and are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games played in the month of December. Savage did not throw a touchdown or an interception and had a quarterback rating of 79.1.
Houston has played the majority of the season without star defensive end J.J. Watt and has had limited production out of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. And the Bengals committed three penalties on the Texans’ next possession, leading to a go-ahead field goal.
That score represented a stunning turn of events, but the Texans were undaunted. Despite the injuries, the Texans go into week 17 with the top ranked defense in the NFL.
Added Savage: “The first half I was just missing some people, missing some reads here and there, and that’s unacceptable”. “Obviously offensively we’re not scoring 30 a game”.
Michael Johnson had a half a sack of the Bengsals’ four on Saturday. Houston resorted to a run-heavy attack the remainder of the half, but the results were similar. This gave the Texans a chance to secure the division title with a victory over the Bengals. AJ Green is Cincinnati’s receiving leader with 964 yards and four touchdowns on 66 receptions.
“We had a lot of discussions and so forth, and A.J. hoped to play”, Lewis said. “That’s one thing I learned in this league early on”. Hopkins was third in the National Football League with 1,521 yards receiving previous year, but his numbers have suffered this season as Osweiler struggled to get the ball downfield and Houston’s passing offense sank to near the bottom of the NFL. “It’s kind of been how our season’s been, and it’s unfortunate it’s been that way”.