Follow along live as the Texans host the Bengals on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff starts at 8:25 p.m. Eastern.
Cincinnati Bengals 0-0-0-0 — 0
Houston Texans 0-0-0-0 — 0
Last week we were so overjoyed for Thursday Night Football, as we were finally blessed with the return of the regular season. That joy has waned, and we are once again reminders that the only thing being showcased on Thursdays is mediocre football.
The Texans and Bengals have two of the worst offensive lines in football, and that’s why the teams surrendered a combined 15 sacks on Sunday. It’s not entirely their faults: the Bengals lost two linemen to free agency, and Texans veteran Duane Browns is still holding out for a new contract. Giving up ten sacks to the Jaguars does not give Houston much leverage in negotiations.
As for the quarterback play, it can’t be good if there were 15 sacks. Bill O’Brien continues to yank his QB chain at an impressive rate, and only needed to see two quarters of Tom Savage Football before making a change. Truthfully, once I saw him dropback, I had a hard time disagreeing. The Texans traded up to take DeShaun Watson 12th overall, and he’ll make his first career start after only four days of preparation.
The Bengals also have a quarterback, and although he played much worse than Tom Savage on Sunday, he did not get pulled. Andy Dalton threw four interceptions and lost a fumble in his season debut, posting a negative fantasy score in a 20-0 loss to the Ravens.
There’s nowhere to go but up for both teams, which will be all the more depressing for the loser. The Texans lost five players to concussions, benched their starter, and were beaten soundly by the Jaguars in their home opener. As a cherry on top, Brian Cushing received a ten-game suspension on Wednesday.
In all fairness, both of these teams have the potential to be playoff contenders. Thursday will be a physical game, but for the loser, an 0-2 hole to start the season may prove insurmountable.