Bengals Weekly Forecast: First glance at the Texans

Mississippi and Mississippi State have been playing the game since 1901, but the first NFL version of the Egg Bowl will be Thursday night after the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans laid two giant ones in their season openers Sunday.

While the Bengals were enduring a 20-0 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, the Texans were unintentionally paying homage to their “Bulls on Parade” theme song with an offensive line that seemed to chanting Ole’ all afternoon while allowing Jacksonville to record 10 sacks in a 29-7 loss.

Houston starting quarterback Tom Savage got sacked six times before Texans head coach Bill O’Brien benched him for rookie DeShaun Watson, whom the Jaguars sacked four times.

›› Bengals LB Burfict brings Steelers ‘dirty players’ to light on Twitter

The 12th pick in the 2017 draft, Watson was 12 of 23 for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

If O’Brien elects to start Watson on Thursday, he would be the seventh quarterback to make his first NFL start against the Bengals in the Marvin Lewis era, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Ironically, the last quarterback to do it was Savage in Week 16 last year. Savage joined Baltimore’s Joe Flacco (2008) and St. Louis’ Shaun Hill (2007) as the only quarterbacks to beat Lewis’ Bengals in their starting debut.

›› Frustration boils over for normally cool Bengals players

The three who lost were Cleveland’s Johnny Manziel (2014), Carolina’s Jimmy Clausen (2010) and St. Louis’ Brock Berlin (2007).

While the Houston offensive line was allowing a franchise-record 10 sacks, the defense, led by Pro Bowler J.J. Watt, was disappointing as well. The Texans didn’t record a sack or a turnover while surrendering 100 yards to rookie running back Leonard Fournette in his NFL debut.

But it’s the mostly the same unit that ranked No. 1 in total defense last year (301.3 yards per game) and No. 2 in passing defense (201.6).

Bengals-Texans connections

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is from Greater Houston (Katy, Texas; Katy High School) and played at Texas Christian. … Five Bengals list their hometown as Houston — safety George Iloka, wide receiver Brandon LaFell, cornerback William Jackson, guard Trey Hopkins and safety Brandon Wilson. … Jackson and Wilson played at the University of Houston. … Iloka attended Kempner High School, LaFell from Lamar High School, Jackson from Wheatley High School and the University of Houston, and Brown and Hopkins both from North Shore High School and the University of Texas … Bengals OT Cedric Ogbuehi played at Texas A&M … Bengals kicker Randy Bullock was a Texans fifth-round draft pick in 2012, and was with the Texans through September, 2015; he played in college at Texas A&M … Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph was a first-round draft pick of the Bengals (24th overall) in 2006, and was with Cincinnati from ’06-10 … Bengals long snapper Clark Harris played for the Texans in 2008 and briefly in ’09 …. Bengals running backs coach Kyle Caskey is from Daingerfield, Texas, and played tight end at Texas A&M from 1997-98 … Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel played at Ohio State from 1993-96 and coached there from 2011-13 … Texans center Greg Mancz is from Cincinnati (Anderson High School) … Texans defensive end Joel Heath is from Cincinnati (Mount Healthy High School) … Texans wide receiver Braxton Miller is a Springfield native who played at Wayne High School and Ohio State.

›› Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

AFC North outlook

Cleveland (0-1) at Baltimore (1-0) Sunday. The Browns have lost eight of their last nine games at Baltimore. The Ravens are 9-2 in their last 11 home openers, with both losses coming against the Bengals.

Minnesota (0-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0) Sunday. The Steelers face an opponent on a short week after a Monday night game, but Pittsburgh is just 4-4 in the last eight home games against NFC opponents.


Texans at Bengals, 8:25 p.m., NFL, 1530, 102.7, 104.7

About the Author