However, one had to bounce back, and it was the Texans. Cincinnati actually out-gained Houston 295-266, but its failure to capitalize is a serious problem that the Bengals need to address moving forward.
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.
In his previous six seasons as Cincinnati's quarterback, Dalton has helped the Bengals reach the playoffs five times and earned three Pro Bowl invitations. Former Katy High School and TCU standout Andy Dalton will lead the Bengals in their prime time AFC matchup against the 1st round draft pick out of Clemson, Deshaun Watson, who gets the nod from the Texans coaching staff. Watson was 12 of 23 for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception, but he and Savage absorbed a combined 10 sacks behind a line that is still missing left tackle Duane Brown (contract holdout) and will be without guard Jeff Allen.
Lamar Miller 18 carries 61 yards (3.4) and three receptions for 26 yards. DeAndre Hopkins had 7 catches for 73 yards receiving.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said that his team simply needs to find a way to get into the end zone.
However, the most galling development was the woeful performance of veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, who completed 16 of 31 attempts for 170 yards with four interceptions.
For all the promise assigned to rookie running back Joe Mixon, he produced just nine yards on eight carries in his debut. Thursday just happened to be Watson's 22nd birthday, too.
That led to a 25-yard Ka'imi Fairbairn field goal as the Texans led it 3-0.
DeShaun Watson wasn't flawless but he made plays when he needed to and led the Texans to a much-needed win.
Cincinnati might have been worse, at least offensively. As one might expect, the team ranks dead last in the AFC North division with their losing record. Houston's defense is going to control this game and could very well score the only touchdown in it.