Last year the Bengals were happy to make the playoffs. This year they want to make a splash in the post season. On the surface it looks the same. The Bengals face the Houston Texans in Houston in the first playoff game on wildcard weekend. That is where the similarities end.
Last season the Bengals limped into the playoffs. They had a fast start to the season but then failed to beat division foes Pittsburgh and Baltimore and needed some help to make the post season. They got the needed help and got outplayed badly in Texas.
The knock last year was that they didn’t beat anyone with a winning record and could not play in big games.
This season the Bengals had some dissappointing losses. They dropped a game to the dolphins and the browns and gave one away to the cowboys.
The Bengals also did some amazing things this season.
- They won 7 of their last 8 games.
- In those 8 they gave up an average of 12 points a game.
- They did not allow an opening drive TD all season.
- They beat 2 playoff teams and the defending super bowl champs.
- They beat the Ravens and Steelers to end the season.
- They lead the league in sacks, getting to the quarterback about 50 times this season.
Then you look at a Houston team who last year beat the Bengals in the playoffs
- Houston has scored one offensive touchdown is its last 11 quarters.
- They have lost their last 3 games giving away the number 1 overall seed.
The Bengals have a better than average shot of winning this game. With a year under their belt I am excited to see what the stripes do this year in Houston.