Texans need more than narrow lead

HOUSTON -- As many of us expected, it’s a defensive struggle between the Bengals and the Texans at the midway point.

It’s great for the Texans that they’ve had the better of play by a great deal. But when one team outplays another by a great deal and only has a 9-7 lead, it’s usually asking for trouble.

The Bengals have been largely ineffective on offense.

But Leon Hall pulled in an interception of a poor throw by Matt Schaub in his own end intended for James Casey. Hall tiptoed the boundary and took it back for a 21-yard score, the lone touchdown in this wild-card playoff game so far.

Cincinnati has to feel pretty good about where it is considering how it has played so far.

The Bengals can feel good about surviving as well as they have. Make some adjustments, find their footing and produce a better offensive second half, and they can take control of this game.

Houston has to play more aggressively. How about throwing the ball into the end zone a bit from close range? How about Andre Johnson catching it when they do?