February 21, 2018

Houston Texans defeat Cincinnati Bengals 13-9

15 September 2017, 11:11 | Randolph Howard

Houston Texans defeat Cincinnati Bengals 13-9

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson scrambles on a play while Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson pursues during the second half of the NFL game between Houston and Jacksonville at NRG Stadium in Houston Texas

Hopkins, who signed an $81 million contract that included $39 million in guaranteed money, is under a lot of pressure to produce, no matter what the Bengals try to do against him.

Nobody around seemed to have the answer.

The Houston Texans head north for a meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals - in an AFC battle between squads who got off to a horrific start last week. The game is on during prime time, the equivalent of kryptonite for Dalton.

Watson came on in relief for Tom Savage in the second half of Houston's 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, passing for 102 yards and one touchdown and an interception while rushing for 16 more yards. The Bengals made Terrell Suggs look like he was 22 years old again.

While it will start Thursday with Watson taking snaps under center, how the remainder of the season plays out will dictate whether these two have jobs heading into January. In turning after matching Week 1 showings Sunday to perform Thursday of Week 2, Bengals and the Texans had little time to live on their 2017 debuts.

Welcome along to the Clunker Bowl as the Texans and Bengals attempt to bounce back from thoroughly miserable displays in week one.

Between them, they were sacked a Jaguars franchise-record 10 times.

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The Bengals offensive line was abysmal in their opening loss to Baltimore, and Dalton at quarterback proved he will make mistakes when pressured. If he doesn't, the Bengals offense will need to pray that A.J. Green becomes an unstoppable force - something he has the ability to do. I have no idea what the team's solution will be to compensate for having ZERO tight ends on the active roster. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney, combined with a porous Bengals offensive line, might give him nightmares.

Houston's offense is struggling because of injuries, ineptitude and issues at quarterback and in the offensive line - not to mention tight end being decimated by concussions. Dalton and left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, who was the target of a barrage of ire on social media, kept their helmets on as they ran through the tunnel at their home stadium.

Yes, just Andy Dalton.

Cincinnati has not scored a touchdown in eight quarters to begin this season. Even if 12 of Savage's 13 passes touched receivers hands, only one was undefended and counted as a catchable ball and therefore classified as a "drop".

The last two seasons had thrilling finishes despite low-scoring defensive battles. One to Green required the receiver to extend to grab it with his fingertips. Sunday was not the first time he had been booed and probably won't be the last. Johnathan Joseph hurt his right shoulder while making a tackle in the first half and didn't return.

There's clearly no savior coming to lift the Bengals' offense from its doldrums.

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