The Houston Texans bottled up the Bengals in Cincinnati on Thursday, ultimately winning a defensive struggle between two teams trying to avoid an 0-2 start.
Houston won, 13-9, holding the Bengals out of the end zone in the process. Andy Dalton went 20-of-35 for 224 yards, but the Texans harassed him all night, sacking him three times and forcing several throws-aways in the fourth quarter.
“Dalton is a pretty good quarterback, man, and he has some pretty good firepower around him, too,” Texans safety Corey Moore said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “So one thing we wanted to do as a defense was go out there, do our job, communicate, but most of all, come out victorious in the end like we did.”
And yet, it was rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson who stole the show. The Clemson product was so-so in the passing game – 15-of-24 for 125 yards – but his electrifying 49-yard touchdown run late in the first half proved to be the difference in the game.
“Man, I thought he was about to get tackled, but he finished straight through the hole,” Moore said. “I was proud of him, man. A guy coming in, first start, winning as a rookie on a Thursday night – couldn’t be more proud of him, man.”
Watson and the Texans (1-1) will face a decidedly stiffer challenge in Week 3, as they face the Patriots (0-1) in Foxborough.
“We know what we have at stake,” Moore said. “We scrimmaged those guys, so we’ve pretty much seen those guys at the beginning of training camp, so we know it’s going to be battle. We’re going to enjoy this win but flip the page and we’re going to be well-prepared going in to face the Patriots.”
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.