Ja’Marr Chase landed hard on his lower back after attempting to snag a jump ball against two defenders. Chase already said he plans to play vs. the Houston Texans, though he’s officially questionable.
On the other hand, Tee Higgins tweaked his hamstring in practice this week and has been ruled out.
#Bengals WR Tee Higgins, who did not practice today after injuring his hamstring in practice yesterday, is expected to miss this Sunday's game vs the #Texans, sources say. He'll be evaluated on a week-to-week basis going forward. pic.twitter.com/LTfChAXOA6— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 9, 2023
With that being said, Houston coming to town isn’t a giveaway win by any means. The Bengals need these people to step in and have big games.
Our defensive backs this season have been impressive, to say the least. Each one of them has shown off their skills each game. Last week was a talent show as we held one of the best receivers in football to under 100 yards.
Houston is coming into town with two exciting receivers in Tank Dell and Noah Brown, two who tacked on 100+ yards in their Week 9 matchup with the Bucs. The Texans don’t have much of a run game at all, so if the Bengals can stop their air game, Houston will be very one-dimensional.
Let’s remember that Chase and Higgins aren’t Cincinnati’s only two receivers. This is why the Bengals’ receiver group is extremely underrated. It sounds like Chase will still suit up and play, but let’s say they are both out. Cincinnati still has Tyler Boyd, Trenton Irwin, Andrei Iosivas, and Charlie Jones, all of whom have made big plays at some point this season. Jones is looking to return after having thumb surgery. Before the injury, he had already impressed the team with several good punt returns, including a touchdown in Week 2 against the Ravens.
Possibly having a career-best year, sitting on 8.5 sacks on the year, Hendrickson and the Bengals defense will go against another young rookie stud QB in CJ Stroud. He started the year off slow and quickly has gained traction and is lighting the sky up. The Texans don’t have much of a run game, so if this gritty defensive line, especially Hendrickson, can get to Stroud, it will limit them offensively.
Two weeks ago, the Panthers held this team to just 13 points and Stroud to merely 140 yards.
Scott has held his own after coming over from the Rams, but he hasn’t had any eye-opening plays besides the fumbled recovery he had last week after Pratt punched it out of Dalton Kincaid’s hands. I would love to see Scott create a turnover or have tight coverage on one of the Texans receiving weapons. Fans should be looking for a big game out of the Bengals secondary.
Alex Cappa/Cordell Volson
This is simply nit-picking. The Bengals' offensive line has been nothing short of great over the last several weeks. But, if I had to choose someone to improve to make the line that much better, I’d choose one of these two.
Some weeks, Cappa has the best grade, and then other weeks, he has the worst. Normally, if he has a good week, it’s Volson who has a bad week. If Cincinnati could get each one of them on the same consistency, Burrow is golden.
Week 9 Grades— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) November 7, 2023
Best: Ted Karras - 83.58
Worst: Alex Cappa - 63.97
Best: Ted Karras - 75.00
Worst: Alex Cappa - 55.56
Best: Jonah Williams - 81.63
Worst: Cordell Volson - 66.33
2 Pressures, 6 QB Hits, 1 Sack, 9 Tackles pic.twitter.com/KbrB1QVon2
***BONUS - Joe Mixon***
Mixon is coming to solid performances. Two weeks ago in San Fran, he racked up his season high, with nearly 100 yards rushing alone, and then last week, he chalked up 60+ yards on the ground and through the air.
The Texans have been solid this year against the rush, only allowing 3.5 per carry. If Mixon can take on a big role in this game and perform as well as he has over the last couple of weeks, that will take less pressure off the passing game.