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Bengals Week 10 Mailbag: Playoff discussion has begun

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How do the Texans cover the Bengals? Can the Bengals clinch in Week 10? And, for what feels like the first time all season, the Bengals are dealing with some injuries and most of those injuries are on the offensive line. Who starts and who is on their way back?

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The Bengals look to extend their record breaking start to 9-0 by winning a second straight game on primetime. We answer your questions before Week 10 kicks off!

Assuming you meant if they win on Monday, mathematically, no. However, at 9-0, it would take an epic collapse not make the playoffs. Most oddsmakers give the Bengals a 99% chance to make the playoffs. At this point, I don't think the playoffs are the goal for this team. This team has their eye on one of the playoff byes - preferably the top seed - and with the Patriots still at 8-0 and the Broncos at 7-1, they have some work left to do.

Good question Robert and I like this matchup for the Bengals. Not many (if any) secondaries matchup against the Bengals receivers and the Texans are not one of the few teams that can. While the Texans are ranked 8th in pass defense in terms of yards per game (227), opposing quarterbacks have completed 62 percent of their passes and compiled a 95.2 quarterback rating against the Texans. I spoke with the guys at our sister Texans site, Battle Red Blog, and it sounds like Jonathan Joseph is not the player Bengals fans remember and they are very concerned about the Texans safeties. As long as the Bengals can keep J.J. Watt away from Andy Dalton, I think the Bengals receivers will have a big night.

As for the noise, I am not sure anything needs to be done. I was at Paul Brown Stadium for the Chiefs game and it was loud and everyone I talked to that went to the Browns game said it was extremely loud on Thursday night as well.

Jonathan, I think most Bengals fans would like to see Jake Fisher start if Zeitler can't go (I know I would), but given that T.J. Johnson filled in for Zeitler at the end of the game against Cleveland, I would say it's doubtful Fisher starts. If Andre Smith starts at right tackle, and I think he will, I think Eric Winston would start at right guard if Zeitler doesn't play, which he may. If Smith can't go and Winston is in at right tackle, it looks like Johnson would be the guy to play for Zeitler. Still, there are a few days until the game and Zeitler practiced on Thursday, though Smith did not.

That is a good question Pete! Unfortunately, unless the Bengals suffer an injury along the line or at linebacker, I don't think either will get activated this season. With Andrew Whitworth at left tackle and Andre Smith at right, they drafted Cedric Ogbuehi with the thought (and luxury) they could essentially red-shirt him this year and let his knee completely heal. If everyone on the line stays healthy, I think they stick with that plan.

As for Porter, has anyone been more snake bitten? The guy has been around for two seasons and has played one play in the NFL - the opening kickoff in New England in Week 5, during which he promptly suffered a season ending knee injury. The coaches really like Porter and that is why he is still on the team, despite his inability to stay healthy, but after two significant injuries (torn labrum as a rookie and the knee injury last season), you have to wonder if he is the same player. If a linebacker goes down, I think he will be activated, otherwise I think he sits with Ogbuehi in hopes of coming into camp next year healthy and competing for a spot.