TNF Preview: 9/14/17 Bengals Vs Texans
3 Key Injuries
The Houston Texans will be missing their top 3 TEs this week due to concussions. CJ Fiedorowicz was placed on the IR this week due to the severity of his concussions and the TE2, Ryan Griffin, and TE3, Stehan Anderson, did not participate and are listed as OUT for this week. Look to the Texans receivers and Running backs pick up these extra targets tomorrow.
The Bengals gave up 157 rushing yards to a Baltimore last week even with Kenneth Dixon on IR and Danny Woodhead leaving the game early. With Deshaun Watson making his First Career Start the Houston Texans will look to lean on the run game. Without Alfred Blue Lamar Millar will be tasked with taking over the extra carries.
This one is less about his Injury and more about his suspension. Brian Cushing will be serving a 10-game suspension after testing positive for PEDs for the second time of his career. This is a big hit to the Houston Texans offense who already had an injured Bernardrick McKinney. McKinney was Limited in practice today and if he is able to play it will lessen the blow. However if McKinney is slowed down by his injury and with Brian Cushing out, look for the Bengals running backs to capitalize.
3 Must Start Players
Andy Dalton is looking to bounce back this week. Of course, there is also a reason why Andy Dalton isn’t on this list. He threw four interceptions and zero touchdowns last Sunday. If Andy Dalton wants to bounce back this week against a team who is ranked 3rd against the pass he will need to rely on his go-to guy. AJ green has reached a level where he is a must start no matter what the matchup is. With his elite size and speed there a few catches he can’t make. We’ll just have to hope Andy Dalton can get him the ball.
De Andre Hopkins
DeAndre is the top pass catching option on a team with really no other options. All three Texans TEs are out for this week along with number 2 receiver Will Fuller. DeAndre Hopkins will be challenged with double coverage throughout this game along with a rookie QB throwing his way. However, last week it wasn’t until Deshaun Watson replaced Tom savage when Hopkins really took off. The two Clemson products connected for a four-yard touchdown in the opening drive of the second half last week. Being Watson’s favorite target already, along with the lack of other weapons expect a lot of targets for Hopkins.
The Bengals are ranked 28th against the run and that is only because 30 teams have played so far (Miami and Tampa Bay got rescheduled). The Bengals gave up 157 rushing yards to a Baltimore run game which is average at best. With Alfred Blue out and Deshaun Watson getting his first Start look for Lamar Miller to get an uptick in carries.
3 Players who have High Upside
Deshaun Watson entered his first NFL game last week starting the second half of the game leading a 14- play, 75-yard dive that ended with a four-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins. This was the first glimmer of Hope for the Texans who were held to zero points in the first half by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Deshaun Watson will look to secure his first career win against an average Bengal’s Defense making him a low value upside pick this Thursday Night.
Braxton Miller makes this list solely due to the lack of other options on the Texans offense. Missing all three TEs and number 2 receiver Will Fuller, Braxton Miller will need to step up for this offense to move down this field. Look for Miller to bounce back from a poor week 1 performance in which he wasn’t able to bring in his only target.
Bengals Running backs
Texans are currently ranked 27th against the run this season allowing 155 rushing yard against the jaguars. Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard don’t have the talent that Leonard Fournette has, and Joe Mixon is placed 3rd on the depth chart, however the Bengals running game has high upside due to the match up. Hill will be looking to bounce back from a porous first game and Bernard will look to improve upon a decent performance.