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Bengal Astrology Points To Cincy Upset

Posted by Matt on October 25, 2008

Yes, I realize just 24 hours ago I wrote off the Bengals and left them for dead.  Literally.  And no, I am not going back on my word — I really do think that Cincinnati has solidified their future of futility.  However, the “Who Dey Horoscopes” are projecting a Bengals victory, for what it’s worth.

The last time the Bengals started 0-7 was during the 2002 campaign. Cincy’s eighth game?  A November 3rd outing against the Houston Texans in the Lone Star State.  The result?  A 38-3 orange and black victory.

Obviously I don’t expect this apparently anemic offense to hang 38 points on Houston while holding them to just a field goal tomorrow in Reliant Stadium.  Mind you, the 2002 Texans were still a hapless expansion franchise and while they haven’t turned the corner much since then, Matt Schaub and Company are a better team now than they were then.  However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the coincidence is rather remarkable and at 2-4, the Texans are still not that much better of a team than the Bengals.

The last time quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played an NFL game in Houston — or a game against the Texans for that matter — was during the 2005 season as a member of the Saint Louis Rams.  The result?  A 33-27 come-from-behind victory in which Fitzy replaced an injured Jamie Martin early in the game and proceeded to go 19-30 for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

The Texans are ranked 17th in passing giving up 216.8 yards per game and nine total touchdowns on the season.  This neither lends itself to a particularly poor or particularly strong performance for the Bengals’ signal caller but with what should be more time in the pocket, Fitzpatrick is poised to post some of the best numbers of he and the Bengals’ slow start.  Cincinnati showed signs of taking down-field shots last week against Pittsburgh and with yet another week of practice as the starter for Fitzpatrick and a defense far less impressive than that of the Steelers, look for this trend to continue (deep passes are the easy part, it remains to be seen when and if they’ll begin to complete them).

The last time running back Cedric Benson was in the state of Texas he was a member of the University of Texas Longhorns.  The result?  5,577 career rushing yards and 64 touchdowns in four seasons and a 4th overall selection of 2005 NFL Draft.

Houston is ranked 22nd in rushing defense giving up 122 yards per game and 11 total touchdowns on the season including at least one rushing score in every game.  If the Bengals’ deficient offensive line can put together an inspired performance this week, Benson and the Cincinnati rushing attack (I’m using the word “attack” loosely) may finally put together a complete game despite being a unit ranked 31st (out of 32 teams) in total rushing offense at 73.9 yards per game.

The late line this week has the Houston Texans as a 9.5 favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals, which comes as no surprise to many with the way The Queen City’s boys have played thus far.  Being favored, however, is still relatively new territory for the Texans — especially this season with their only wins coming against the Miami Dolphins and the also-win less Detroit Lions.

Being new at being favored and playing a team that doesn’t appear to be a winner even at the college level leaves Houston primed for an upset on their home turf.  All of the stars are aligned for the Bengals to notch their first victory in the 2008 calendar year, despite the spread, because as the old adage goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

(But if the Bengals lose, we can forget I ever said any of this.)

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