The Bengals’ revamped offensive line will have its second NFL betting online test, after allowing five sacks in week 1, against the Houston Texans on Thursday – against, to be more specific, the Texans’ stacked NFL’s top-ranked front seven, who went without a sack against the Jaguars. And, to be even more specific, Bengals right guard TJ Johnson versus JJ Watt. It’s a duel of initials, folks! “We’ve watched a lot of the things he’s done,” Johnson said, via Bengals.com, of Watt. “I feel like we have a pretty decent game plan just sticking to our techniques and do what we’re supposed to do… He played a lot inside last week. They do a little bit of everything in that defense … We watched the film. We made our corrections, but the whole thing is we just have to set our jaw and look for Thursday night.”
Watt is, then again, such an omnipresent player that, according to guard Clint Bolin, “at some point almost everybody would probably get their opportunity” to block Watt, Bolin included. Houston defense, anchored by Watt, has dominated Cincy in their last six meetings, allowing the Bengals only 13 points per game and limiting starting quarterback Andy Dalton to three TD passes. if Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and he only player in league history with two 20-sack seasons, as well as “the best defensive player in the league,” according to Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander, wasn’t bad enough, there are also Jadeveon Clowney – who doesn’t like to clown around – and Whitney ‘The Merciless’ Mercilus. If the O-line doesn’t get it together, even she could do a better job:
Congrats to Abby, the @BenGalsCheer Cheerleader of the Week!
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) September 14, 2017
- Time: 8:25 PM
- Venue: Paul Brown Stadium
Online Sportsbook NFL Betting Site Odds:
Texans +6 (-110) 37½ (-110) +211
Bengals -6 (-110) 37½ (-110) -255
So what’s an offensive line to do? “We have to play better,” head coach Marvin Lewis said. “Collectively, we have to play better. We don’t want our quarterback touched back there, and he was touched too often.” Now you just made us picture a social worker asking Dalton, “Andy, show me on the doll where the bad man touched you.” So, basically, the plan is as follows:
- Play better
Seriously though, Cincinnati.com suggests offering young tackles, in particular Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher, more help so that aren’t left stranded in an island so much. Ogbuehi had, on seven of 38 drop backs, some assistance, while Fisher didn’t, in those same 38 passing drop backs, get any help at all, even though, according to Alexander, “He got a lot [of help] … He got lots of it.” Then they need even more help – they need help like Steve Sarkisian needed help in 2015. The Bengals enter the game as six-point NFL betting online favorites, which means the O-line will have to step it up, because they know that Watt & Co. will be hungry for some sacks. “We have to put last week completely behind us. We’ve got to get started and this is the first game to start the roll,” Johnson concluded.