HOUSTON, TX — Tony Romo is healthy and is expected to play for the Dallas Cowboys in their bid to win another Super Bowl trophy. Standing in their way is the Cincinnati Bengals who have surprised everyone by making it to the big dance. The Bengals are seeking their first ever Lombardi Trophy.
Passing Yards: Cowboys 2nd (4684), Bengals 30th (3243)
Rushing Yards: Bengals 12th (1802), Cowboys 17th (1725)
Passing Yds Allowed: Cowboys 10th (1699), Bengals 30th (4341)
Rushing Yds Allowed: Bengals 7th (1660), Cowboys 10th (1699)
Turnover Difference: Cowboys 1st (+20), Bengals tied 13th (even)
Red Zone Efficiency: Bengals 4th (78%), Cowboys 39th (64%)
COWBOYS INJURY REPORT
BENGALS INJURY REPORT
TE Tyler Eifert (92) Broken collarbone, season ending
CINCINNATI, OH — The Houston Texans imploded in the second half of the AFC Conference Championship game against Cincinnati and fell to the Bengals in blowout style, 41-23 at Paul Brown Stadium amid cold temperatures and snow flurries.
The game was close through three quarters with the Bengals taking a 28-23 lead into the fourth. But, things began to go south for Houston in the final frame.
The Bengals scored twice on fourth quarter turnovers by the Texans. The first time when Michael Johnson scooped up a fumble and ran it back fifteen yards to make it 35-23 with 8:03 remaining. Three minutes later, safety George Iloka would go the distance on a pick-six to seal Houston’s fate — widening Cincinnati’s lead to 18 points (41-23).
All toll, the Bengals picked off quarterback Brock Osweiler three times in the game.
The Bengals made their own mistakes, but survived. Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes but also threw thee interceptions and fumbled once.
Cincinnati’s running game wasn’t spectacular but succeeded in hurting the Texans chances. Jeremy Hill scored twice on rushes of three yards, and eight yards.
CINCINNATI, OH — Andy Dalton was intercepted four times by the New England Patriots, but that wasn’t enough to stop the Cincinnati Bengals from pulling out a huge upset to defeat the Patriots 35-24 at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.
The Patriots failed to capitalize on Dalton’s mistakes, and allowed Cincinnati to surge back to outscore New England 21-7 in the final quarter.
The big play that deflated the Patriots was when rookie CB William Jackson III step in front of a Tom Brady pass and returned it for a defensive score to give Cincinnati its first lead of the game, 28-24, with 6:23 remaining to play. On New England’s ensuing possession, the Pats stalled at Cincinnati’s 39 yard line and were forced to punt instead of attempting to go for it on 4th and 13.
The Bengals captured key first downs to remain in possession as time melted — and finally sealed the outcome with a 3-yard TD run by Jeremy Hill with sixteen seconds left to play.
The Bengals will advance to the divisional round and travel to face the Tennessee Titans next weekend.
Rookie corner back William Jackson III intercepted future Hall of Famer Tom Brady twice in the Bengals 35-24 victory against New England on Wild Card Weekend.
Jackson’s second pick was returned for a touchdown and gave the Bengals their first lead of the game 28-24 in the fourth quarter.
During the regular season, Jackson played only 296 downs and mad one interception.
Jackson was Cincinnati’s 2016 1st round pick (24th overall) out of Houston.
Wild Card Weekend is set to begin. The Patriots will visit the Bengals on Sunday at 1:00.
Both teams will be missing keys players that could impact the outcome of the game. The Bengals will have to do without their top tight end, Tyler Eifert who is done for the season. The Patriots lost both of the left tackles to injury, and their top receiver, Julian Edelman will miss the game.
Passing Yards: Patriots 12th, Bengals 30th
Rushing Yards: Bengals 12th, Patriots 15th
Passing Yds Allowed: Patriots 1st, Bengals 30th
Rushing Yds Allowed: Bengals 7th, Patriots 25th
Turnover Difference: Patriots (+2), Bengals (even)
Red Zone Efficiency: Bengals 78%, Patriots 77%
PATRIOTS INJURY REPORT
LT Nate Solder (83) Dislocated hip, IR, LT Marcus Cannon (78) Dislocated hip, IR, WR Julian Edelman (92) Dislocated elbow, 2 weeks
BENGALS INJURY REPORT
TE Tyler Eifert (92) Broken collarbone, season ending, MLB Rey Maualuga (84) Broken collarbone, 2 weeks
Heading into the divisional round, Bengals RE Michael Johnson has surprised everyone. The 29-year old Johnson was almost written off by Cincinnati, but the seven-year veteran has had a breakout season, registering 15.5 sacks in the regular season — good enough to be tied for 5th. Texans J.J. Wyatt led the league with 19 sacks.
The dynamic duo struck again! Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for a touchdown and ran in for another, and Ezekiel Elliot did the rest, scoring twice on the ground and catching another for six, to lead Dallas past Seattle 40-30 in the NFC title game. The Cowboys scored 24 points in the second quarter on way to a road-rout of Seattle. Dallas will face Cincinnati in the Super Bowl.
Houston’s 43-27 loss in the AFC Championship Game to Cincinnati puts an end to the Texans’ amazing run in the playoffs. They first defeated Buffalo 31-28 in the Wildcard Round, then blew past Kansas City 27-10 in the Divisional Round. They entered the postseason as a Wildcard team after finishing the regular season with a 9-7 record.
Texans at Chiefs
Sat, 4:30 pm
Giants at Seahawks
Sat, 8:00 pm
Bengals at Titans
Sun, 1:00 pm
Packers at Cowboys
Sun, 4:30 pm
The Tennessee Titans will try to advance to the AFC title game without QB Marcus Mariota who went down in the Titans Week 10 game against the Green Bay Packers (Titans won 41-24). Back-up Matt Cassel will get the postseason start. In the regular season, Cassel completed 60% of his passes for 1,227 yards, 8 TD, 2 INT. The Titans went 6-0 with Cassel starting.
Texans 31, Bills 28
Giants 42, Panthers 14
Bengals 34, Patriots 24
Packers 30, Eagles 28
The New York Giants made sure that the Carolina Panthers would not make it back to the Super Bowl after shaming them 42-14 on Wild Card weekend. Eli Manning passed for two touchdowns, and his backfield scored three times in the rout.
The Seattle Seahawks (12-4) edged the Dallas Cowboys for the best record in the NFC. Seattle won their last four games while the Cowboys went 2-2 in their final four.
Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs allowed the fewest points in the AFC (323) and the team finished with the best record (10-5-1) to capture home field advantage throughout the playoffs.