Texans-Bengals Preview

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VS.

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GAME PREVIEW
DECEMBER 11, 2011

TIME: 1 p.m., Sunday

PLACE: Paul Brown Stadium (FieldTurf)

RADIO: Play-by-play Dan Hoard and analyst Dave Lapham on "Triple Cast" flagships 700-AM WLW, 1530-AM ESPN and 102.7-FM WEBN on the 25-station Bengals radio network. National Radio: Play-by-play Larry Kahn, Ross Tucker analyst, Troy West sideline reporter for Sports USA.

INJURIES
CIN: OUT: DT Pat Sims (ankle, on injured reserve). LE Carlos Dunlap (hamstring) is looking at missing his third straight game after not practicing all week and is doubtful. CB Nate Clements (hamstring) has been saying he hoped to play after missing last week's game and practice this Wednesday and Thursday. He went limited Friday and is questionable. RT Andre Smith (ankle), who left Sunday's game in the second quarter, returned to the field Thursday and Friday was limited and called questionable. So was RB Brian Leonard (knee) after he missed Friday's practice. RB Cedric Benson (foot) was limited Wednesday and sat out Thursday but went full Friday and is probable. So is TE Donald Lee (foot) when he returned to practice full this week after missing the last four games.

HOU: OUT: WR Andre Johnson (hamstring). ILB Brian Cushing (ribs, knee) went full Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday and is probable. WR Kevin Walter (illness) surfaced on the injury report after he missed practice Friday and is questionable.
» Complete Injury Report

THE SERIES
Bengals lead, 3-2; 2-1 at PBS.

NOTEWORTHY
» It is the first time since Dec. 23, 1990 NFL teams from Cincinnati and Houston are playing a game in December with playoff implications for both.

» The Bengals and Houston Oilers played in the AFC Central Division from 1970-96, when the Oilers moved to Tennessee. They split their 57 games down the middle: 28-28-1.

» The Bengals won in Houston, 38-3, during the inaugural Texans season of 2002. No player is left from that team, although wide receiver Andrew Hawkins's brother, cornerback Artrell Hawkins, tied cornerback Louis Breeden's club-record for the longest interception return with a 102-yard touchdown.

» For the second time this season at PBS, the Bengals face a defense with one of Cincinnati's former first-round picks in Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph (2006). In the home opener the Bengals faced San Francisco defensive lineman Justin Smith (2001).

» For the second time this season, Cincinnati's Andy Dalton hooks up with a fellow rookie quarterback in Houston's T.J. Yates. When Dalton faced Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert back on Oct. 9, it was the first Bengals game since Oct. 10, 1999 (Akili Smith-Tim Couch) pitting two rookie quarterbacks.

» University of Cincinnati product Connor Barwin, named AFC Defensive Player of the Month with 6.5 sacks in November, returns to PBS where he got his first NFL sack in a 2009 game.

NFL RANKINGS
CIN: 19th in scoring, 18th in offense (20th rushing, 19th passing); Sixth in defense (sixth rushing, 10th passing), tied for 17th in turnover margin at minus-one.

HOU: Fifth in scoring, 10th in offense (third rushing, 17th passing); Second in defense (fourth rushing, third passing), third in turnover margin at plus-12.

COACHES
CIN: Marvin Lewis 67-72-1 regular season, 0-2 postseason in his ninth season; 2-2 vs. Texans.

HOU: Gary Kubiak 46-46 in his sixth season, 2-0 vs. Bengals and Lewis.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
» 12-5 - Bengals December record under Marvin Lewis at PBS
» 4-9 - Texans December road record under Gary Kubiak
» 387.1 - Texans AFC-best average yards in road games since 2008
» 274.8 - Average yards Bengals allow at PBS this season
» 16.8 - Average points Texans hold teams on the road this season
» 19.6 - Average points Bengals score at PBS this season
» 3-4 - Bengals vs. top 10 defenses in 2011
» 60.7 - Texans NFL-low passer rating on defense
» 72.3 – Bengals QB Andy Dalton's passer rating vs. top 10 defenses
» 23 - TD passes Dalton is on pace to throw
» 0 - Rookie QBs since the merger that have started at least eight wins while throwing at least 20 TD passes
» 356 - Yards Dalton needs for 3,000
» 4 - TDs by Texans WR Andre Johnson as a rookie
» 7 - TDs by Bengals rookie WR A.J. Green
» 66 - Catches by Johnson as a rookie
» 68 - Catches Green is on pace for as a rookie
» 976 - Receiving yards by Johnson as a rookie
» 1,135 - Receiving yards Green is on pace for as a rookie
» 4 - Interceptions by Texans CB Johnathan Joseph this season
» 3 - Interceptions by Bengals CBs this season

GAME DAY ENTERTAINMENT
» JungleZone: Band – My Sister Sarah
» Anthem: World Choir Games ensemble
» Honor Guard: United States Marine Corps
» Halftime: NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick competition; Verizon "Toss to Win" challenge in the North end zone; Local 12 highlight package, "Around the League in 180 Seconds."

TOYS FOR TOTS
The United States Marine Corps will be operating a "Toys for Tots" drive at the entrance gates. We encourage our fans to donate any packaged and unwrapped toys. In addition, monetary donations will be accepted.

WEATHER
The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio calls for sunny skies with temperatures in the upper 30s and zero percent chance of rain or snow with a southeast wind of about five miles per hour.

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