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Three and Out: Bengals-Texans Predictions

The BRB staff gathers to predict Week 16’s match-up between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans from NRG Stadium.

Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Texans (4-10) and the Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1) will combine forces to play out the string together Sunday.

Like many Texans fans, here at BRB we are bickering amongst ourselves about whether Deshaun Watson should play again this season. That discussion got a little more serious with the news that right tackle Tytus Howard will miss the rest of the season with a concussion...yiiiikes.

Regardless, Deshaun is gonna play this weekend and next. So let’s see how the BRB staff sees this one playing out:

Matt Weston: Texans 23, Bengals 20.

No matter where we are in the world, no matter what is occurring, no matter how bad the Houston Texans are, you can always count on them to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

I4blitzer: Texans 20, Bengals 20.

Now that we have entered into the part of the season where absolutely nothing matters, especially wins or losses, I may as well go with the result that will tick everyone off. Can’t think of a better way to upset everyone than going with a tie.

The Bengals are well-versed in ties, having already achieved one this season. They have nothing to play for, but somehow have a boat-load of confidence after having upended the suddenly reeling Steelers. For all I know, they’ll bring Ickey Woods out of retirement and given how poor the Texans’ run defense is, Ickey could get at least 50 yards and one TD, resulting in a resumption of one the greatest travesties to plague an NFL field: The Ickey Shuffle.

Yet, as a franchise, the Bengals don’t want to win too much. They have a potential franchise QB in Joe Burrow (or, in Louisiana, Burreaux), who might be okay, but if the Bengals don’t fix that offensive line, Burrow might remind folks of one David know how that song ended. If Cincy can maintain a top fie draft position, maybe the best OL prospect in the draft goes their way (whoever that may be after whatever the NFL Combine looks like this year).

As for the Texans, by all rights, they should beat the Bengals, and probably comfortably. However, these are the 2020 Texans. They are contractually obligated to disappoint everyone, and I mean, everyone, who has a rooting interest in the team. This includes the Dolphins. Miami is not only looking towards making the NFL Playoffs, but they might also do something that hasn’t been done in over 20 years: be a playoff team that has a top three draft pick. They can almost see themselves becoming the 1990s Dallas Cowboys in the 2020s. Thanks to Bill O’Brien, they may just get there. The Dolphins have a major rooting interest in seeing the Texans derp (like they have the past two weeks) and provide the team in South Beach with two quality draft picks (at the top of the first and second rounds).

All of that to say, this game is somehow way too competitive. The Texans, if the universe was right, would blast the Bengals by three scores; instead, they’ll play down to their competition. Cincinnati, who experiences a flood of emotions, can’t quite blow the Texans out, nor can they play down to form. It is a back and forth affair that comes down to the final minutes, where the Texans, down six, manage to replicate, in a small fashion, the 80 for 80, only for Ka’imi Fairbairn to miss the game-winning extra point, forcing this game into overtime, where both teams prove unable to score. This gives the Texans their first-ever tie and pisses off multiple fanbases (ours, Miami’s, the contenders in the AFC relying on the Texans for strength of schedule tie-breakers, and the Bengals for draft purposes). It will be ugly, in a beautiful sort of way...or one can hope.

bfMFd: Bengals 34, Texans 31.

Now that the Texans have, checks notes. INTERVIEWED MARVIN LEWIS TO BE THE NEXT HEAD COACH OMG LOL FML, we have to lose this game. It’s karma. That’s it.

My only hope is that we don’t play Deshaun. We will.

The Houston Texans are a very, very stupid football team.

Carlos Flores: Bengals 27, Texans 17.

Nothing matters anymore. Let the kids play and bubble-wrap Deshaun Watson. The Bengals are riding high off of their previous game against the Steelers, so they’ll have momentum on their side.

The Texans are bad, and they should feel bad because of it.

Mike: Texans 24, Bengals 23.

First off, if Cal McNair hires Marvin Lewis in any capacity, that will be the straw that breaks this fan’s back. Not only will I be done with the Texans, but I’ll be 100% convinced Cal is doing everything in his meager power to utterly destroy what his Father built.

Now that’s off my chest, let’s move on to the J.J. Watt Bowl. Anyone in Texans fandom who doesn’t remember the game that put Watt on the map needs to ask somebody. Then go re-watch ALL the highlights on YouTube until they’re burned into memory. I’ll never forget where I was and what I was doing when J.J. snatched that pass out of the air and ran it back for six. That play officially gave notice to the world that Watt had arrived and the NFL would never be the same.

With rumors swirling that J.J.’s days in H-Town are about to come to an end, what better way to go out than by ruling the Bengals one last time? Count on Watt for six direct points and a few other plays that set up scoring drives for Deshaun Watson and company.

Then, in the most-Texans way ever, both Watt and Watson get hurt, opening the door for the Bengals to try and come back, only to fall short on a last minute field goal that goes wide left.

This game is totally meaningless, but will be memorable for all the right and all the wrong reasons.

Tim: Texans 27, Bengals 20.

Deshaun Watson’s first NFL start came against the Bengals on Thursday Night Football back in 2017. On Sunday, he’ll do it again, except in more prolific fashion and at NRG Stadium.

Also, The Bengal Killer is still an employee of the Texans. Houston simply doesn’t lose to Cincinnatti when T.J. Yates is sporting steel blue, battle red, and liberty white.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all that good stuff. With only two games left, just make sure no matter what you do, you enjoy the game with friends and family, and remember how much you’ll miss football once it’s gone. No matter how sad of as season the Texans turn in, football is football, and damnit I will miss it when it’s gone!