Two potential upsets in the making. Let’s get it.
Bengals at Texans
What everyone has told you: Don’t buy into the Bengals hype, believe in Houston’s home-field advantage and zone-blocking scheme to rise above any big play-ability of Cincinnati’s rookie tandem on offense. Don’t think that Cedric Benson is good enough to hold up on his own against one of the better defenses in the league. TJ Yates did an excellent job against them in the game during the regular season.
What everyone has forgotten: The Bengals have an excellent front seven that is more than capable of stopping the Houston rushing attack. In addition to that, you can’t hide your QB in a playoff game, and I don’t know how you’re winning against a defense that is going to be more than willing to stuff the box and get Arian out of the picture. Most NFL defenses in a playoff game have at least enough talent to take away one thing you do well. If the Bengals successfully take away the run from TJ Yates, exactly what do they have left? Bengals 19, Texans 13.
Lions at Saints
This exact matchup was flexed to primetime a while back and the Lions simply couldn’t keep up with the Saints on the fast track. Granted, it’s hard to beat the same team the same way twice in that short of a span, but it’s really hard to think the Saints are going to lose at home this postseason given how well they’ve looked there during the regular season. I would lo-o-o-o-o-ve an upset, which would set up a Giants-Falcons game that locks up a divisional round matchup with the Niners, but I don’t think it’s happening. I’ll take the fast team on the fast track with a world more playoff experience. The Saints will take away Calvin Johnson and take their chances on the rest. Saints 38, Lions 27.