J.J. Watt delivered a lights-out tackle to close out the Texans vs. Bengals game with a figurative and literal bang Thursday night.
Update: Looks like Johnson will miss about half the season. However, one had to bounce back, and it was the Texans. But with so many young, talented skill players added to the roster, Cincinnati was, at a minimum, supposed to be faster than it was in 2016.
After becoming the first National Football League team in 78 years to open the season with two home games and fail to score a touchdown in either, the Cincinnati Bengals made a change on Friday - but it wasn't at quarterback.
Covering almost half the football field in a hurry, Watson provided the primary early highlight for a sluggish Texans offense that struggled to consistently move the football against the Bengals. The Bengals ran the ball 24 times for 82 yards, for an average of 3.4 yards per carry. Watson made sure he got the ball to Hopkins when the game was on the line and Hopkins took over late in the game.More news: Philippe Coutinho finally breaks silence over failed Barcelona transfer
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DALTON'S STRUGGLES: Andy Dalton threw four interceptions, lost a fumble and finished with a passer rating of 28.4 in a 20-0 loss to the Ravens on Sunday, the first time the Bengals were blanked in a home opener. Miller contributed 31 yards in two receptions. Three plays later, Cincinnati could not get it into the end zone and had to settle for a field goal by ex-Houston Texans kicker Randy Bullock and a tie game.
Cincinnati allowed Andy Dalton to be trapped five times, half as much as Houston yielded in its loss to Jacksonville. Rookie Joe Mixon led on the ground with nine carries for 36 yards. Not a bad way for Watson to spend his 22nd birthday.
Watson offered Houston fans a glimpse of his potential, though, when he put the Texans ahead 10-3 with 50 seconds remaining until halftime. It's still early, but Houston is second in their AFC South division to the 1-0 Jaguars. Texans fans may be excited to see their potential quarterback of the future already on the field, but Houston is playing a unsafe game rolling the dice with Watson so soon.
Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis fired offensive coordinator Ken Zampese and replaced him with Bill Lazor, who is the Bengals' quarterbacks coach.