After watching the first two quarters of the first playoff game of the season, it's apparent that the Bengals offense didn't make the trip with the rest of the team. The offensive players were replaced by Bill and Ted-type clones that aren't nearly as awesome as the real thing. The Bengals only trail the Texans by two points, but the touchdown scored had nothing to do with the offense.
The Texans, in the meantime, have been able to move the ball all the way down the field over and over again, but they have been unable to punch the ball into the end zone at any point against the Bengals defense. Had they been able to, this game would likely be over already.
The only big play of the game was made by Leon Hall. For the second time in three weeks, Hall picked off a pass thrown to a receiver on an out route. Hall took that interception and ran it back for a touchdown, giving the Bengals their only points of the game. Other than Hall's play, the defense has been mediocre... not good and certainly not great. The defensive line hasn't been able to put any pressure on Matt Schaub. While they've made him thrown one or two passes away, he hasn't been sacked. A lot of this has to do with the fact that, for some reason, Mike Zimmer has been completely unwilling to send any extra pressure to help the defensive line bring Schaub down in the back field. Luckily, Schaub and the offense are doing their part to keep the Bengals in the game by avoiding the end zone and just kicking field goals.
On offense, the Bengals have been able to move the ball on the ground, mostly with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but also with a scramble from Andy Dalton, but the passing game is completely non existant. Dalton has completed four of 10 passes for an unbelievably embarrassing three yards in the first half. Green-Ellis has 46 yards on the ground on only three carries, but the fact that he has three carries should make all Bengals fans want to beat their heads into a brick wall.
The Bengals need to go into the locker room and realize that this game is still very much in reach because the Texans are doing what they can to let the Bengals win, but if they don't come out in the second half and actually play the game of football, especially on offense (I'm not sure what game the offense is playing right now), they will not win this game and we'll be subjected to another offseason of hearing every NFL analyst telling us that the Bengals just aren't ready.
I for one, don't want to go through that again.