Texans-Bengals Preview

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PREVIEW
OCTOBER 18, 2009

TIME: 1 p.m., Sunday

PLACE: Paul Brown Stadium, FieldTurf

TV: CBS team of play-by-play man Don Criqui and analyst Randy Cross. If sold out it will be seen live on Channel 12 in Cincinnati, Channel 7 in Dayton, OH, and Channel 27 in Lexington, KY.

RADIO: Play-by-play man Brad Johansen and analyst Dave Lapham on 700-AM (The Big One), 1530-AM (Homer) and 102.7-FM WEBN on "Triple Cast" Cincinnati flagships of the 25-station Bengals radio network.

INJURIES (Complete Injury Report)
CIN: RT Andre Smith foot (out). DT Tank Johnson (foot) hasn't played last two games and was limited with his sore foot Thursday after going in a full practice Wednesday. QB Carson Palmer (left thumb) didn't miss practice this week. SLB Rashad Jeanty (finger) practiced this week after missing last week following surgery on dislocated finger. RB Brian Leonard (groin) and DL Frostee Rucker (foot) didn't practice this week.   

HOU: Two starters, NT Shaun Cody (illness) and SLB Brian Cushing (foot), as well as backup S Nick Ferguson (knee) didn't practice Thursday and three defensive starters were limited: RE Mario Williams (shoulder), MLB DeMeco Ryans (shoulder) and WLB Zac Diles (knee).

THE SERIES: Bengals lead, 3-1; 2-0 at PBS

NOTEWORTHY
» The last time the Bengals had a game blacked out, it was against the Texans on Nov. 9, 2003 when running back Rudi Johnson set a club and AFC record with 43 carries in a 34-27 victory before 50,437 as the Bengals raised their record to 4-5.

» Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh led the Bengals in receiving the last two times the Bengals played the Texans. On Sunday they play another ex-Bengals receiver in Kevin Walter a week after playing Kelley Washington in Baltimore.

» Houshmandzadeh has 27 catches for a 12.0-yard average and two TDs in Seattle. Washington has 17 catches for 12.9 and a touchdown, and Walter has 12 for 14.5 and a touchdown. The Bengals' Andre Caldwell has 18 catches for a 10.1 average and two TDs.

» NFL leading rusher Cedric Benson is on pace to finish six carries shy of the Bengals season record of 361 set by Johnson in 2004.

» The Bengals are riding their first four-game winning streak since Nov. 19-Dec. 10, 2006, and are seeking their first five-game winning streak since they opened the 1988 season 6-0.

» Since 1990, 77 percent of teams that started 4-1 made the playoffs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

» Head coach Marvin Lewis coaches his 52nd home game and looks for his 29th win.

» Under Lewis, the Bengals are 7-6 in October games at PBS, 10-16 overall in the month, and 11-8-1 in games decided by three points or fewer.

» Sunday marks the debut of long snapper Clark Harris. He becomes the first long snapper not Brad St. Louis to get in a game for the Bengals since Randy Chevrier worked the last five games of the 2001 season when St. Louis was hurt.

» Ochocinco has caught a pass in 110 straight games, the fifth longest streak in the league behind Hines Ward (167), Torry Holt (158), Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez (136) and Green Bay's Donald Driver (115).

NFL RANKINGS
CIN: Tied for 20th in scoring, 18th in offense (ninth rushing, 20th passing); 17th in defense, (12th rushing, 23rd passing), tied for 18th in turnover margin at minus two.

HOU: Tied for 12th in scoring, 11th in offense (30th rushing, fifth passing), tied for 23rd in defense (26th rushing, 16 passing), tied for 14th in turnover margin at plus-one.

COACHES
CIN: Marvin Lewis 50-50-1 regular season, 0-1 postseason in his seventh season, 2-1 vs. Texans, 0-1 vs. Kubiak.

HOU: Gary Kubiak 24-29 in fourth season. 1-0 vs. Bengals and Lewis.

THE WEATHERThe National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for a postcard of a fall day in Cincinnati under mostly sunny skies with no chance of rain and game-time temperatures in the low 50s rising to the mid 50s and a wind out of the north and west at five to 10 miles per hour.

GAMEDAY ENTERTAINMENT: Anthem: Shannon Kramer; Halftime: U.S. Marine Corps special presentation; Honor guard: Wright Patterson Air Force Base; Game ball: Fischer homes

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