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Bengals vs. Texans Game Notes

Posted Sep 14, 2017

The Bengals vs. Texans game kicks off on Thursday at 8:25 p.m. on NFL Network. Fans in Cincinnati may also watch the game on WLWT (Channel 5).

Kickoff: 8:25 p.m. Eastern.

Television: NFL Network national broadcast, produced by NBC, and Cincinnati viewers may also watch the game on WLWT-TV (Channel 5). The broadcast team is Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Heather Cox (sideline reporter).

Radio: Coverage on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst). The game also will be aired to a national audience on affiliates of Westwood One Sports. Broadcasters are Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Tony Boselli (analyst).

Setting the scene: The Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans enter their matchup on Thursday Night Football this week under similar circumstances, as each of the two teams suffered a lopsided loss to a division rival at home this past Sunday.

But regardless of whether an NFL team loses — or wins — its opener, the prevailing response always is, “one game does not a season make.” Thus, both the Bengals and Texans consider the nationally televised contest at Paul Brown Stadium to be a prominent platform on which to rebound from their Week 1 setbacks.

“This is a 16-game football season,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “That was just one ball game. We knew, whether we had won or lost that first game, this week was going to be the same week here. How the first game turned out didn’t matter — whatever happened last week was going to be erased very quickly. That’s been my message to the players. Regardless of what happened last week, this is a new week, and this week we are going to get better.”

One difference between Cincinnati and Houston this week, however, is that Cincinnati has the home field advantage, and the Bengals own a 4-1 all-time record for home games on Thursday Night Football, including a 3-1 mark under Lewis. 

And, despite the obvious disappointments of the 20-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Lewis saw positives to build upon. 

“It didn’t seem like it after the game, but when I watched the film, there were some good things that happened,” Lewis said. “Obviously, there were a lot of things we have to do better as far as execution goes ... there are things to improve upon and areas we need to get better. We have a quick turnaround (this week) and the opportunity to face a new opponent — one that feels much like we do.

“Defensively, for the most part, I thought we did a pretty good job throughout most of the football game. We had a couple plays (we didn’t like) and we have to do a better job of stopping them on third downs. On offense, we have some things to correct, (such as) working on the protection of our quarterback, and receivers and their routes, staying with our running game and doing a better job of blocking on the perimeter ... So there are things we have to get better at, but there were some good things there too, and we have to build on those.”

For players who are looking for positives after the Baltimore game, the short week leading up to the Thursday contest itself can offer its own advantages.

“The good thing is that we get to play on Thursday on a quick turnaround,” said tight end Tyler Eifert. “We don’t have to sit around thinking about it all week. We can get back on the field and try to get that bad taste out of our mouths, against a different opponent. And if we want to make a run this year and do some big things, we really have no other option than to turn it around right now.” 

This is the fourth consecutive year the Bengals and Texans have met in the regular season. Thursday’s game will be the 10th regular-season meeting between the two clubs, with the Texans holding on to a 5-4 advantage. In postseason, the Texans own a 2-0 lead, with wins over the Bengals after the 2011 and ’12 seasons.

Bengals on Thursday: This week’s game is the first Bengals-Texans meeting to air nationally on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals have played 12 times previously on Thursday, posting a 7-5 record, including 4-1 at home. The Bengals are 4-4 on Thursdays under head coach Marvin Lewis, including 3-1 at home.

Only one of the Thursday games, in 2010, was played on Thanksgiving.

Here’s a recap of the Bengals’ Thursday experience:

DATE, OPP.       RESULT                                                             COMMENT

9-15-83, @Cle.     Browns, 17-7...................... Two Browns INTs off Ken Anderson

9-18-86, @Cle.     Bengals, 30-13.................. Larry Kinnebrew rushes for three TDs

10-19-95, @Pitt.   Bengals, 27-9...................... Bengals yield 468 yards but no TDs

12-4-97, TENN.    Bengals, 41-14............... Dillon rushes for NFL rookie record 246

11-30-06, BALT.   Bengals, 13-7................... Ravens scoreless until 1:01 remaining

11-20-08, @Pitt.   Steelers, 27-10................... Steelers allow only 20-for-43 rushing

11-25-10, @NYJ   Jets, 26-10...... Special teams help Jets erase 7-3 halftime deficit

12-13-12, @Phil.   Bengals, 34-13........... Bengals rally with four 2nd-half takeaways

10-31-13, @Mia.   Dolphins, 22-20 (OT)................ Dalton sacked for rare OT safety

11-6-14, CLE.       Browns, 24-3..... Browns plus-three on turnovers, with three INTs

11-5-15, CLE.       Bengals, 31-10.................. Bengals dominate 17-0 in second half

9-29-16, MIA.       Bengals, 22-7.... A.J. Green has 10 catches for 173 yards and TD

The series: The Texans lead 7-4, including 2-0 in postseason. The Texans also lead 3-2 in games played in Cincinnati.

Last season, in a Week 16 Saturday night matchup on Christmas Eve, the Texans downed the Bengals 12-10 in Houston. The contest included the longest completion of QB Andy Dalton’s career, an 86-yarder for a TD to fellow Houston-area native Brandon LaFell. The Bengals drove 60 yards in 12 plays as time wound down in the fourth quarter, but a 43-yard Randy Bullock field goal attempt on the final play sailed wide right, securing a victory and AFC South Division title for the home Texans.

The Texans won the teams’ last meeting in Cincinnati, 10-6, in a Monday Night Football matchup in 2015. It was the Bengals’ first loss of the season, after an 8-0 start.

The Texans defeated the Bengals in Wild Card round playoff games at Houston in the 2011 and ’12 seasons.

Team bests from the series:

Bengals — MOST POINTS: 38, in a 38-3 win at Houston in 2002. LARGEST VICTORY MARGIN: 35, in the ’02 win at Houston. FEWEST POINTS ALLOWED: 3, in the ’02 win at Houston. 

Texans — MOST POINTS: 35, in a 35-6 win at Houston in 2008. LARGEST VICTORY MARGIN: 29, in the ’08 win at Houston. FEWEST POINTS ALLOWED: 6 (twice, most recently in the 2015 game at Cincinnati).

Hello again, Houston: Though the Bengals and Houston Texans have met only 11 times, Cincinnati’s NFL rivalry against teams from Houston spans 68 games. The total includes 57 meetings between the Bengals and the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans). Those 57 games were split evenly, 28-28-1, and the Bengals-Texans series is led 7-4 by Houston.

Thus, the Bengals’ combined record against Houston teams is 32-35-1 (includes 2-1 edge for Houston in postseason).

Individually vs. Texans: Having met six times (regular season and postseason) since 2011, five current Bengals skill position players have seen action more than one time against Houston:

      ●  QB Andy Dalton: Six games; 131-for-214 passing (61.2 percent) for 1271 yards (211.8 per game), with three TDs and seven INTs (68.9 rating).

      ●  WR A.J. Green: Five games; 32 receptions for 374 yards (average of 6.4 receptions and 74.8 yards per game); No TDs.

      ●  HB Jeremy Hill: Three games; 32-for-110 rushing (3.4), with one TD; Four-for-14 receiving (3.5).

      ●  HB Giovani Bernard: Two games; 25-for-81 rushing (3.2); Seven-for-65 receiving (9.3).

      ●  H-Back Ryan Hewitt: Two games; 2-for-15 receiving (7.5).

      ●  WR Tyler Boyd: One game; 2-for-25 receiving (12.5).

      ●  WR Cody Core: One game; 8-for-39 receiving (4.9).

      ●  TE Tyler Eifert: One game; 3-for-36 receiving (8.7).

      ●  WR Alex Erickson: One game; 1-for-5 receiving (5.0).

      ●  WR Brandon LaFell: One game; 6-for-130 receiving (21.7), with one TD.

      ●  TE C.J. Uzomah: One game; 5-for-28 receiving (5.6).

Records vs. Texans: HB Rudi Johnson’s 43 rushing attempts against the Texans in 2003 is a Bengals record. It is tied for the second-most carries in NFL history and tied for the most carries in a non-overtime game. The only player with more carries in an NFL game was Washington’s Jamie Morris, who rushed 45 times in an overtime game on Dec. 17, 1988. That game was against the Bengals, incidentally, at Riverfront Stadium.

Also, in 2002 at Houston, Bengals CB Artrell Hawkins returned an INT 102 yards for a TD. That’s the most recent of three plays tied for the longest play in Bengals history (Louis Breeden had a 102-yard INT return at San Diego in 1981, and Eric Bieniemy had a 102-yard kickoff return at the N.Y. Giants in ’97).

Bengals-Texans connections: Bengals QB Andy Dalton is from Greater Houston (Katy, Texas; Katy High School) and played at Texas Christian University ... Texans DE Joel Heath is from Cincinnati (Mount Healthy High School) ... Texans C Greg Mancz is from Cincinnati (Anderson High School) and played at the University of Toledo ... Four Bengals list their hometown as Houston — S George Iloka (Kempner High School), WR Brandon LaFell (Lamar High School), CB William Jackson (Wheatley High School) and G Trey Hopkins (North Shore High School); Jackson played collegiately at the University of Houston, and Hopkins played at the University of Texas ... Texans WR Braxton Miller is from Springfield, Ohio (Wayne High School), and played at Ohio State University ... Bengals K Randy Bullock entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick (161st overall) of the Texans in 2012, and was with Houston through September ’15; he also played collegiately at Texas A&M University ... Texans CB Johnathan Joseph entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick (24th overall) of the Bengals in 2006, and was with Cincinnati through the ’10 season ... Texans ILB Brian Peters is from Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington Central High School) ... Texans NT Brandon Dunn is from Louisville, Ky. (Pleasure Ridge Park High School), and played at the University of Louisville ... Texans T Breno Giacomini also played at the University of Louisville ... Bengals OT Cedric Ogbuehi played at Texas A&M University ... Bengals LS Clark Harris played for the Texans in 2008 and briefly in ’09 .... Bengals offensive quality control/offensive line coach Robert Couch is from Plainview, Texas ... Bengals running backs coach Kyle Caskey is from Daingerfield, Texas, and played at Texas A&M University from 1997-98 ... Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel played (1993-96) and coached (2011-13) at Ohio State University ... Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin coached at the University of Toledo from 2004-05 ... Texans linebackers coach Bobby King is from Louisville, Ky. ... Texans defensive assistant Shane Bowen is from Pickerington, Ohio, and coached at Ohio State University in 2012.

 

Kickoff: 8:25 p.m. Eastern.

 

Television: NFL Network national broadcast, produced by NBC, and Cincinnati viewers may also watch the game on WLWT-TV (Channel 5). The broadcast team is Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Heather Cox (sideline reporter).

 

Radio: Coverage on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst). The game also will be aired to a national audience on affiliates of Westwood One Sports. Broadcasters are Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Tony Boselli (analyst).

 

Setting the scene: The Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans enter their matchup on Thursday Night Football this week under similar circumstances, as each of the two teams suffered a lopsided loss to a division rival at home this past Sunday.

     

But regardless of whether an NFL team loses — or wins — its opener, the prevailing response always is, “one game does not a season make.” Thus, both the Bengals and Texans consider the nationally televised contest at Paul Brown Stadium to be a prominent platform on which to rebound from their Week 1 setbacks.

     

“This is a 16-game football season,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “That was just one ball game. We knew, whether we had won or lost that first game, this week was going to be the same week here. How the first game turned out didn’t matter — whatever happened last week was going to be erased very quickly. That’s been my message to the players. Regardless of what happened last week, this is a new week, and this week we are going to get better.”

     

One difference between Cincinnati and Houston this week, however, is that Cincinnati has the home field advantage, and the Bengals own a 4-1 all-time record for home games on Thursday Night Football, including a 3-1 mark under Lewis.

     

And, despite the obvious disappointments of the 20-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Lewis saw positives to build upon.

     

“It didn’t seem like it after the game, but when I watched the film, there were some good things that happened,” Lewis said. “Obviously, there were a lot of things we have to do better as far as execution goes ... there are things to improve upon and areas we need to get better. We have a quick turnaround (this week) and the opportunity to face a new opponent — one that feels much like we do.

     

“Defensively, for the most part, I thought we did a pretty good job throughout most of the football game. We had a couple plays (we didn’t like) and we have to do a better job of stopping them on third downs. On offense, we have some things to correct, (such as) working on the protection of our quarterback, and receivers and their routes, staying with our running game and doing a better job of blocking on the perimeter ... So there are things we have to get better at, but there were some good things there too, and we have to build on those.”

     

For players who are looking for positives after the Baltimore game, the short week leading up to the Thursday contest itself can offer its own advantages.

     

“The good thing is that we get to play on Thursday on a quick turnaround,” said tight end Tyler Eifert. “We don’t have to sit around thinking about it all week. We can get back on the field and try to get that bad taste out of our mouths, against a different opponent. And if we want to make a run this year and do some big things, we really have no other option than to turn it around right now.”

     

This is the fourth consecutive year the Bengals and Texans have met in the regular season. Thursday’s game will be the 10th regular-season meeting between the two clubs, with the Texans holding on to a 5-4 advantage. In postseason, the Texans own a 2-0 lead, with wins over the Bengals after the 2011 and ’12 seasons.

 

Bengals on Thursday: This week’s game is the first Bengals-Texans meeting to air nationally on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals have played 12 times previously on Thursday, posting a 7-5 record, including 4-1 at home. The Bengals are 4-4 on Thursdays under head coach Marvin Lewis, including 3-1 at home.

     

Only one of the Thursday games, in 2010, was played on Thanksgiving.

     

Here’s a recap of the Bengals’ Thursday experience:

DATE, OPP.       RESULT                                                             COMMENT

9-15-83, @Cle.     Browns, 17-7...................... Two Browns INTs off Ken Anderson

9-18-86, @Cle.     Bengals, 30-13.................. Larry Kinnebrew rushes for three TDs

10-19-95, @Pitt.   Bengals, 27-9...................... Bengals yield 468 yards but no TDs

12-4-97, TENN.    Bengals, 41-14............... Dillon rushes for NFL rookie record 246

11-30-06, BALT.   Bengals, 13-7................... Ravens scoreless until 1:01 remaining

11-20-08, @Pitt.   Steelers, 27-10................... Steelers allow only 20-for-43 rushing

11-25-10, @NYJ   Jets, 26-10...... Special teams help Jets erase 7-3 halftime deficit

12-13-12, @Phil.   Bengals, 34-13........... Bengals rally with four 2nd-half takeaways

10-31-13, @Mia.   Dolphins, 22-20 (OT)................ Dalton sacked for rare OT safety

11-6-14, CLE.       Browns, 24-3..... Browns plus-three on turnovers, with three INTs

11-5-15, CLE.       Bengals, 31-10.................. Bengals dominate 17-0 in second half

9-29-16, MIA.       Bengals, 22-7.... A.J. Green has 10 catches for 173 yards and TD

 

The series: The Texans lead 7-4, including 2-0 in postseason. The Texans also lead 3-2 in games played in Cincinnati.

     

Last season, in a Week 16 Saturday night matchup on Christmas Eve, the Texans downed the Bengals 12-10 in Houston. The contest included the longest completion of QB Andy Dalton’s career, an 86-yarder for a TD to fellow Houston-area native Brandon LaFell. The Bengals drove 60 yards in 12 plays as time wound down in the fourth quarter, but a 43-yard Randy Bullock field goal attempt on the final play sailed wide right, securing a victory and AFC South Division title for the home Texans.

     

The Texans won the teams’ last meeting in Cincinnati, 10-6, in a Monday Night Football matchup in 2015. It was the Bengals’ first loss of the season, after an 8-0 start.

     

The Texans defeated the Bengals in Wild Card round playoff games at Houston in the 2011 and ’12 seasons.

 

Team bests from the series:

 

BengalsMOST POINTS: 38, in a 38-3 win at Houston in 2002. LARGEST VICTORY MARGIN: 35, in the ’02 win at Houston. FEWEST POINTS ALLOWED: 3, in the ’02 win at Houston.

 

TexansMOST POINTS: 35, in a 35-6 win at Houston in 2008. LARGEST VICTORY MARGIN: 29, in the ’08 win at Houston. FEWEST POINTS ALLOWED: 6 (twice, most recently in the 2015 game at Cincinnati).

 

Hello again, Houston: Though the Bengals and Houston Texans have met only 11 times, Cincinnati’s NFL rivalry against teams from Houston spans 68 games. The total includes 57 meetings between the Bengals and the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans). Those 57 games were split evenly, 28-28-1, and the Bengals-Texans series is led 7-4 by Houston.

     

Thus, the Bengals’ combined record against Houston teams is 32-35-1 (includes 2-1 edge for Houston in postseason).

 

Individually vs. Texans: Having met six times (regular season and postseason) since 2011, five current Bengals skill position players have seen action more than one time against Houston:

      ●  QB Andy Dalton: Six games; 131-for-214 passing (61.2 percent) for 1271 yards (211.8 per game), with three TDs and seven INTs (68.9 rating).

      ●  WR A.J. Green: Five games; 32 receptions for 374 yards (average of 6.4 receptions and 74.8 yards per game); No TDs.

      ●  HB Jeremy Hill: Three games; 32-for-110 rushing (3.4), with one TD; Four-for-14 receiving (3.5).

      ●  HB Giovani Bernard: Two games; 25-for-81 rushing (3.2); Seven-for-65 receiving (9.3).

      ●  H-Back Ryan Hewitt: Two games; 2-for-15 receiving (7.5).

      ●  WR Tyler Boyd: One game; 2-for-25 receiving (12.5).

      ●  WR Cody Core: One game; 8-for-39 receiving (4.9).

      ●  TE Tyler Eifert: One game; 3-for-36 receiving (8.7).

      ●  WR Alex Erickson: One game; 1-for-5 receiving (5.0).

      ●  WR Brandon LaFell: One game; 6-for-130 receiving (21.7), with one TD.

      ●  TE C.J. Uzomah: One game; 5-for-28 receiving (5.6).

 

Records vs. Texans: HB Rudi Johnson’s 43 rushing attempts against the Texans in 2003 is a Bengals record. It is tied for the second-most carries in NFL history and tied for the most carries in a non-overtime game. The only player with more carries in an NFL game was Washington’s Jamie Morris, who rushed 45 times in an overtime game on Dec. 17, 1988. That game was against the Bengals, incidentally, at Riverfront Stadium.

 

Also, in 2002 at Houston, Bengals CB Artrell Hawkins returned an INT 102 yards for a TD. That’s the most recent of three plays tied for the longest play in Bengals history (Louis Breeden had a 102-yard INT return at San Diego in 1981, and Eric Bieniemy had a 102-yard kickoff return at the N.Y. Giants in ’97).

 

Bengals-Texans connections: Bengals QB Andy Dalton is from Greater Houston (Katy, Texas; Katy High School) and played at Texas

Christian University ... Texans DE Joel Heath is from Cincinnati (Mount Healthy High School) ... Texans C Greg Mancz is from Cincinnati (Anderson High School) and played at the University of Toledo ... Four Bengals list their hometown as Houston — S George Iloka (Kempner High School), WR Brandon LaFell (Lamar High School), CB William Jackson (Wheatley High School) and G Trey Hopkins (North Shore High School); Jackson played collegiately at the University of Houston, and Hopkins played at the University of Texas ... Texans WR Braxton Miller is from Springfield, Ohio (Wayne High School), and played at Ohio State University ... Bengals K Randy Bullock entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick (161st overall) of the Texans in 2012, and was with Houston through September ’15; he also played collegiately at Texas A&M University ... Texans CB Johnathan Joseph entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick (24th overall) of the Bengals in 2006, and was with Cincinnati through the ’10 season ... Texans ILB Brian Peters is from Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington Central High School) ... Texans NT Brandon Dunn is from Louisville, Ky. (Pleasure Ridge Park High School), and played at the University of Louisville ... Texans T Breno Giacomini also played at the University of Louisville ... Bengals OT Cedric Ogbuehi played at Texas A&M University ... Bengals LS Clark Harris played for the Texans in 2008 and briefly in ’09 .... Bengals offensive quality control/offensive line coach Robert Couch is from Plainview, Texas ... Bengals running backs coach Kyle Caskey is from Daingerfield, Texas, and played at Texas A&M University from 1997-98 ... Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel played (1993-96) and coached (2011-13) at Ohio State University ... Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin coached at the University of Toledo from 2004-05 ... Texans linebackers coach Bobby King is from Louisville, Ky. ... Texans defensive assistant Shane Bowen is from Pickerington, Ohio, and coached at Ohio State University in 2012.

 

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