Will this week's MNF game produce epic air and ground performances like their past matchups?
Monday Night Football history lesson
One notable passing performance in series:Texans quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns in a 28-17 Texans win over the Bengals during Week 6 of the 2009 season. Andre Johnson had 135 yards receiving, and running back Steve Slaton had 102 yards and one touchdown receiving in that game. While the Texans went on to have the first winning season in franchise history that year -- finishing 9-7 after consecutive 8-8 finishes in 2007-08 -- the Bengals finished 10-6 and won the AFC North crown. Cincinnati started a run of first-round playoff exits in five of six seasons that the team will look to shake this season.
One notable rushing performance in series: In the first playoff game in Texans franchise history, running back Arian Foster rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns to help fuel a 31-10 Houston triumph in an AFC wild-card playoff game. It was the first of two consecutive seasons in which the Texans and Bengals met in the playoffs. The following year, the Texans again toppled the Bengals, 19-10, in the wild-card round.
One famous MNF game
Texans: In Week 1 of the 2013 season, the Texans and San Diego Chargers closed out the season-opening Monday night doubleheader in dramatic fashion. The Chargers stormed out to a 28-7 lead in the third quarter and had a 98.6 percent chance of winning the game. Against all odds, the Texans rallied for a thrilling 31-28 win. Linebacker Brian Cushing's fourth-quarter pick six tied up the game, and Randy Bullock's 41-yard field goal as time expired provided Houston with the improbable win. The Texans won their first two games in 2013, and then went on to lose the next 14 to finish 2-14 and secure the No. 1 overall choice in the 2014 NFL Draft, which was used on Jadeveon Clowney.
Bengals: The playoff-bound Bengals toppled the Buffalo Bills, 33-24, on a mid-November Monday night in 1975. It was Cincinnati's first win in three attempts on Monday Night Football. Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson threw for an astonishing 447 yards in what was a run-heavy era of pro football (1975 marked the second of two consecutive seasons in which Anderson led the NFL in passing yards). Speaking of the run game, Pro Football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns for the Bills. The Bengals went on to finish 11-3 that season, losing to the Oakland Raiders, 31-28, in the divisional playoffs.