I don't need to tell you how big this game is for the Bengals. If they win, their chances of heading to the playoffs as a wildcard team go up drastically and if they lose, those chances drop dramatically. Even head coach Marvin Lewis believes that this is the biggest game he's ever coaches in his nine years with the Bengals.
"This is the biggest game I’ve been in in the NFL," he said. "In my opinion, it's the biggest game we've had here in (my) nine years."
When it comes to the playoffs, the Bengals' backs are against the wall. If they lose this game, they may be out. Maybe that's why the majority of NFL analysts have predicted that they would win.
CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco believes the Bengals will win by a score of 23-17.
The Bengals need this to stay in the thick of the playoff race. They have dropped three of four. They will be focused here. Rookie T.J. Yates will be making his first road start at quarterback for the Texans. The Bengals defense is pretty good. Look for Yates to struggle and the Bengals to win it.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King believes the Bengals will win by a score of 20-17.
Very tough game to call. In fact, talking to Arian Foster the other day about Texans QB T.J. Yates, he very nearly sold me that Yates could pull off Houston's third straight win with a third-string quarterback. But this is a game Cincinnati needs much more than Houston. And the last time they played, the two stars for Houston were Matt Schaub with four TD passes and Andre Johnson with eight catches. We won't see Schaub Sunday, and I don't expect we'll see Johnson. But we will see a quarterback from the Houston suburb of Katy -- Andy Dalton.
Six of the right ESPN NFL analysts, including Ron Jaworski, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenses, believe the Bengals will beat the Texans on Sunday as well.
And here's your game preview from CBSSports.com: