The Houston Texans have been hit with injuries as hard as anyone this NFL season, but they're still in the midst of a six-game winning streak. For the second week in row, rookie quarterback T.J. Yates will have to lead the Texans to victory, though the ball probably won't be in his hands too often against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Superstar Andre Johnson is definitely out, while their are doubts over the injury status of Kevin Walter, who is questionable, and tight end Joel Dressen, who is probable. The Bengals were already going to get a very heavy dose of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, but with their best passing targets either out or struggling with injuries, the Texans have little incentive to throw the ball.
While the Texans have a two-game lead in the AFC South and appear like they'll coast into the playoffs even if Yates struggles, the Bengals are in a situation where they absolutely need to perform. They're almost certainly out of the AFC North race at this point, but they're part of a number of teams in the race for the final wild card slot. Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton is having a fantastic season, but he's going to need more help than he got from his team against Pittsburgh. Last week, the Bengals committed 10 penalties and did nothing to slow down Ben Roethlisberger.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 11; 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Announcers: Marv Albert, Rich Gannon
TV Distribution Map: The506.com