It must have been a rough week for anyone involved in sports betting. First, current UFC champ Holly Holm destroys former champ Ronda Rousey in the second round at UFC 193 on Saturday. And then on Monday night, the JJ Watt led Texans defense delivered a stunning knockout blow to the former undefeated Cincinnati Bengals. Before the weekend started, no one gave Holly Holm or the Houston Texans a fighting chance to win. Clearly, no one mentioned this to either of the alleged underdogs. The Cincinnati Bengals were primed and ready for another victory over a subpar team. Bengals fans were sure their team could keep pace with the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers at 9-0. JJ Watt said his team made Bengals quarterback Andy “the Red Rifle” Dalton look more like a “Red Ryder” bb gun.
The Bengals had an opportunity to showcase their team on national television. However, no one should ever discount the Texans’ defense. Although the Texans have an anemic offense, they have one of the NFL’s best defenses. Based on the game, the saying that a great defense can shut down a great offense still rings true. Before Monday, the Bengals had scored at will and pulverized their opponents. With a ferocious offensive air attack featuring Dalton, Tyler Eifert, AJ Green, and Mohamed Sanu, the Bengals looked unstoppable. Against the Texans, Dalton finished the game with no touchdowns, one interception, and fewer than 200 yards in passing. Also, the Bengals couldn’t get their two headed monster running attack (Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard). In a combined effort, Hill and Bernard finished with 51 combined yards.
Bengals fans realize this was just a bump in the road. The Bengals are an excellent team and have depth on both sides of the ball. However, they will need to shake off the cobwebs quickly because they have their biggest challenge next Sunday at Arizona. The Arizona Cardinals are one of the NFL’s hottest teams and are coming off a road victory against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Cards also have personnel that know the Bengals. The Cards starting quarterback is Carson Palmer, who started his career with the Bengals. Then you have TE Jermaine Gresham, another former Bengals player. Also, the Cards head coach Bruce Arians used to be on the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff, so he is also familiar with the Bengals. The Bengals will need to forget about their loss to Texas and focus on the Cards, who can match the Bengals on either side of the ball.