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NFL Week 16 Bengals at Texans: Predict the final score

What's your expectation for how this game will play out?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals face the Texans in a primetime clash on Christmas Eve.

For the Texans, playoff hopes are still on the line with the team currently in first place in the AFC South. For the Bengals, the playoffs are an unrealized dream and there are just two more games to play before a way-too-long offseason begins.

So, what are your expectations for today's game? Do you expect the Bengals to come out swinging? Can the defense capitalize on an inexperienced quarterback in Tom Savage?

Houston ranks 27th in offensive yards per game, while the Bengals rank 13th. And while the Bengals are 23rd in points per game, the Texans are even worse, ranking 28th in that category. Much of the Texans' numbers are flying out the window though as they will have a new starting quarterback this week in Tom Savage.

The Texans' defense is no joke and a big part of why the team is in first place in the AFC South. They're allowing a league-best 306.5 yards per game. Their passing defense (second in the league) ranks much better than their rushing defense (16th), but both the Bengals' passing and rushing games will need to be on point to move the ball in Houston.

The Bengals' defense has significantly improved since the bye week in Week 9, holding opponents to less than 25 points in each week and less than 20 points in four of the six games since Week 8.The Bengals' defense (11th) actually ranks one spot above the Texans' defense (12th) in points allowed per game, so a strong defensive performance against a first-time starting quarterback could go a long way in Houston.

What's your prediction for the outcome and final score of tonight's game?