Bengals on offense: Andy Dalton often gets overlooked because there are so many dynamic young quarterbacks in the league right now, but it would be a mistake to underestimate this second-year player. The 6-foot-2-inch, 220-pounder has a very strong, accurate arm and has surprising athleticism. He has adjusted well to the pro game after taking most of his college snaps out of the shotgun. Dalton is well-prepared, smart, and effective at going to his secondary receivers. His primary receiver, of course, is the talented A.J. Green (1,350 yards, 11 TDs). Green (6-4, 207) has great size, strength, and body control. He runs precise routes and makes tough catches look routine. Andrew Hawkins (5-7, 180) lacks size but he is quick and elusive after the catch. Tight end Jermaine Gresham (6-5, 260) is a big, reliable target. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a strong inside runner who will occasionally flash some speed. He rarely gets knocked backward.
Texans on defense: J.J. Watt (81 tackles, 20½ sacks) and Bradie James (77 tackles) are always in the thick of the action. Defensive backs Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, and Danieal Manning all have returned INTs for TDs this season.