No doubt about it--last week's "Three And Out" was likely as close as I'll ever get to credibility. You might think I'd quit while I was (relatively) ahead. But when has that philosophy ever worked? Besides in Vegas, I mean? Onward!
1. Your starting offensive line, barring another season-ending injury to someone while deplaning, will likely be Duane Brown, Kasey Studdard, Chris Myers, Antoine Caldwell, and Eric Winston. In other words, 40% of your starting OL is absent. What's more, the new 40% of your line flanks a center who's repeatedly been victimized. Methinks this bodes rather terribly for Steve Slaton and/or, God forbid, Chris "No Yards and a Cloud of Dust" Brown. Total rushing yards for your Houston Texans on Sunday: 79. And only because Kubes is going to insist upon 20+ carries.
2. Once upon a time, Kevin Walter was a Bengal. When K-Dub played his former team last year, he went off for 70 yards and 2 TDs. This year, I foresee more yards and less TDs. I'm calling 82 yards receiving and 1 TD.
3. If this one comes to pass, I'm on the next flight to Sin City: Tim Bulman strips Carson Palmer. Said fumble is recovered by Antonio Smith.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Say what you will about Kubiak, but he's shown a knack for getting his charges ready to play the week after a loss. And aren't the Bengals primed for a letdown after the emotional intradivision wins they've had the past few weeks? It's very easy to talk yourself into predicting a Texans upset on Sunday. Too easy, I think. Cincinnati's defense is salty, and unlike the Texans, their offense boasts a running game that complements the passing game. In other words, the Bengals are a pretty balanced team. The Texans, of course, are not. Give me the balanced team playing at home over the unbalanced team playing on the road, letdown potential be damned. Texans 23, Bengals 27.