Pair Of Plays Featuring Bengals & Texans To Capitalize Off Sunday's Schedule

Joe Catalano

Sunday, August 28, 2016 5:20 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 5:20 PM UTC

"Sunday is Fun Day" in week 3 of the NFL Preseason as we start to see more starters receiving more playing time and get a good gauge on how things will work in the NFL Regular Season. With 3 games on tap, here are your NFL Preseason Picks of the Day for Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

McCarron Looking to Make an Impression
It's only a matter of time before another NFL team looks to seek the services of backup quarterback, A.J. McCarron. McCarron has regular season experience and has been effective. He's also led National Championship teams in college as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and is now killing it in the preseason as a starter, Andy Dalton, can feel McCarron breathing down his neck. Dalton is locked in at the starter position with a big contract, but McCarron is actually making Dalton play better as both players have played well in the preseason.

In their last game, the Bengals defeated the Detroit Lions 30-14 as A.J. McCarron was 10 of 15 for 95 yards and 1 TD and Andy Dalton was 7 for 9 for 78 yards. This is a very formidable duo and even though most starting quarterbacks don't get a ton of time in the preseason, Dalton can receive an ample amount of "PT" as the Bengals know that they have a guy that can come in and start in McCarron.


Who To Watch?
The Bengals are less apt to put star wide receiver, A.J. Green, out on the field for an extended period of time as Green is irreplaceable. Last week Green was targeted twice and had 2 receptions fo 22 yards. We could see a bit more of Green combined with the running attack of starter, Jeremy Hill, and Rex Burkhead. Burkhead has been receiving a lot of work in the preseason and he could be a factor in this game as he can also catch passes out of the backfield.


Jacksonville Still Looking For Their First Win
The problem hasn't been starting QB, Blake Bortles, as he's quickly becoming one of the better passing quarterbacks in the NFL. Last week in a 27-21 loss to Tampa Bay, Bortles threw for 2 touchdowns along with 8 for 11 for 85 yards. The problem was the backups, Chad Henne and Max Wittek. They were a combined 4 of 18 for 53 yards and 3 INT. Bortles can't play the entire preseason game and this is a problem for the Jaguars. I also remember Max Wittek in college when he started off at USC and he doesn't belong with this level of competition.

The one thing that the Jags do have in their favor is the hard running of Chris Ivory and one of the best 1-2 punches at the wide receiver position in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Last week, Robinson led the way with 4 receptions for 34 yards and Allen Hurns, who is a big play threat, caught a touchdown pass. As long as both players are on the field, the Bengals defense will have their hands full.

I still like Cincinnati in this game as there's no dropoff at the quarterback position.


Free NFL Pick: Bengals +1.5 -106 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans

0-3 Staring the Cards in the Face
It has been a disastrous preseason for the Arizona Cardinals thus far. Their head coach, Bruce Arians, has had health issues and I kind of expected the Cardinals to play poorly as this is a team with veteran players that want to remain healthy for the regular season. The Cardinals have been outscored 50-13 by their opponents in the 1st 2 games of the preseason.


The Clock Is Ticking
Carson Palmer's tenure with the Arizona Cardinals has been an outstanding one, but the fact is that he's not getting any younger and this team still hasn't won a Super Bowl.

Last week, Palmer did see action behind Matt Barkley (10 of 15 for 85 yards) and he was very ineffective as he was 4 of 8 for 37 yards and 1 INT. Look to see a lot more of Palmer in this game as Arizona need's him to be in full form when week 1 of the NFL Regular Season arrives. Arizona needs for Palmer to stay healthy as Matt Barkley has proven that he doesn't have what it takes to lead an NFL team.

Running backs such as David Johnson, Andre Ellington, and Chris Johnson all saw 4 carries or less and Michael Floyd was also not a factor last week as he was targeted 3 times and caught just 1 pass for 2 yards. I expect very little in the form of offense from the key starters for the Cardinals this week and that will make the Texans job a lot easier.


Promising Start
As for the Houston Texans, they come into this game looking sharp as 1st round draft pick, Will Fuller, is coming off of a big game in which he caught 4 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown coming from former Denver Bronco, Brock Osweiler (12 of 19, 124 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) and from watching Osweiler as a member of the Super Bowl Champion Broncos, you know what you're going to get. Osweiler will play with a chip on his shoulder with something to prove. This will work in Houston's favor in this game.

Another player with something to prove will be former Miami Dolphins running back and now a member of the Houston Texans, Lamar Miller. Miller has already proven that he can shoulder the load with the Fins, but look for him to play well with the Texans and it will start this week. Last week, he ran the ball 6 times for 16 yards and he's definitely capable of more. I look for Houston to play well against a team that really doesn't care about the preseason and has some age to it.


Free NFL Pick: Texans -104 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle​

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