Texans at Bengals: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for a touchdown, but that was the lone highlight for the Texans - who had few answers for the Jaguars on either end. The Texans get back WR Jaelen Strong from his one-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, but they've got far worse injury problems than the Bengals.

It was Watson's first career National Football League start and it was also his 22nd birthday.

Two plays later, Watson scrambled on third-and-15, broke two tackles and raced 49 yards for a touchdown, putting the Texans ahead 10-3. But rookie Joe Mixon got the most touches (eight carries, three catches) but found little room to run, even if you discount nine yards in losses on the game's final two plays. Veteran Johnathan Joseph left in the second quarter because of a shoulder injury, and 2015 first-round pick Kevin Johnson left because of a knee injury after he was checked out by the Texans' medical team on the field.

Texans need increased output from Hopkins

Watson showed up in a black tuxedo - it was his 22nd birthday, no less - and showed the flash that helped him lead Clemson to a national title last season. Especially considering that both of the Texans' starting cornerbacks were injured against the Bengals, as well. Watson had replaced struggling QB Tom Savage after the first half of Houston's Week 1 loss to the Jaguars. In the receiving end, DeAndre Hopkins posted 55 yards and a touchdown in seven receptions while C.J. Fiedorowicz added 46 yards in four receptions. This is only the second time I've done this in my career and it's only to defend a client where I felt he wasn't getting defended properly by the team or the media.

Fans tailgating before the game will see showers and temperatures in the high 60s F.

Bill O'Brien calls Cushing the "heart and soul" of the Texans' defense, which tells you all you need to know about O'Brien as a coach when this is the same team with J.J. Watt and Jadevenon Clowney. The Texans were scoreless with Savage at quarterback. Lamar Miller had 18 carries for 61 yards and D'Onta Foreman had 12 carries for 40 yards. Johnathan Joseph hurt his right shoulder while making a tackle in the first half and didn't return. "The way he was acting like he was open, I don't think he knew he stepped out". Dalton was 20-35 for 224 yards. He's in the NFL's concussion protocol and has been suspended 10 games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Texans won the Wild Card Game 27-14 versus the Raiders, but lost in the Divisional Round to the eventual champion Patriots 34-16.

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