Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals defense has looked better than their offense, but it hasn't been able to contain the Texans completely.
The Cincinnati Bengals defense hasn't given up any touchdowns, but that doesn't mean that they've been able to shut the Texans down by any means, especially the passing game. The Bengals, who sacked the opposing quarterback 51 times in the regular season, a franchise record, hasn't been able to put any pressure on Matt Schaub, allowing him to throw for 65 yards, completing nine out of 10 passes.
Overall, in the first quarter, they allowed 112 yards (119 total) and they have allowed the Texans to convert two out of five third downs. In the Texans' second scoring drive, Matt Schaub once again went completely untouched as he, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels moved the ball down the field. The defensive line has collapsed the pocket around Schaub, and Schaub on one or two occasions has been close, especially Geno Atkins, but so far they haven't been able to make him miss.
What's more is the fact that Mike Zimmer has yet to dial up any blitzes from the linebackers or from the secondary to help out the defensive line. While that may leave them vulnerable to big plays by Arian Foster, it isn't Foster that's hurting them right now.
However, just as all hope was leaving Bengals nation, Leon Hall stepped up and gave the Bengals a one-point lead. Just like he did against the Steelers, Leon Hall picked off an out-route, thrown by Schaub, and ran it back into the end zone for a touchdown. This is his second pick-six in the last three weeks. Hopefully, unlike his last pick six, the Bengals will have more than one touchdown.
With the Bengals offense struggling to reach the first-down marker, the defense will need to build momentum off Hall's play if they want to win their first playoff game in over two decades.