Updated: 7:25 p.m.
The way Marvin Lewis sounded and the way NFL sack leader Antwan Odom looked as he hobbled out of the locker room on crutches without comment Sunday it did not look good. And Lewis said a couple of hours after the Bengals 28-17 loss to the Texans that Odom's right Achilles is torn. That usually means out for the year, a shame for a guy who had already rung up eight sacks to tie his career best.
There is also concern for the other starting defender that the Bengals lost on the Texans' third snap of the game. Tackle Domata Peko left with a left knee injury and the club is apparently waiting on results of an MRI.
With defensive end Frostee Rucker (ankle) already inactive, the Bengals were stripped bare on the defensive front by the start of the second quarter. Still, they held the Texans to 2.8 yards per 31 carries. But they only got two sacks.
It looked like Odom was going to have a big game against left tackle Duane Brown. Odom ended the Texans' first drive on a third-and-four from the Bengals 11 when he chased quarterback Matt Schaub to the sideline and forced him to throw it away. That set up a field goal and Odom leaped in the middle of the line to bat it down, the first Bengals blocked field goal since defensive tackle John Thornton blocked Jeff Reed's 48-yard field goal in Pittsburgh Sept. 24, 2006.
He hurt himself chasing Schaub on the game's first score, a 12-yard pass to tight end Owen Daniels with 48 seconds left in the first quarter.
How tough of a break for Odom? After being plagued by injuries last season (a broken foot in the first half hour of training camp), he had fought back to come into this game as the NFL co-leader with eight sacks.
DEFENSE STUNNED: Safety Chris Crocker called what happed in the second half the worst tackling he's seen this season. It is certainly the worst stats he's seen as a Bengal. The 472 yards were the most the Bengals have allowed in the two seasons and 22 games under defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, and the most they have allowed since giving the Bills 479 in a 33-21 loss in Buffalo Nov. 4, 2007. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub had the first four-touchdown passing game against the Bengals since Cleveland's Derek Anderson had five in the 51-45 loss to the Browns Sept. 16, 2007.
That game in Cleveland is also the last time the Bengals allowed two 100-yard receivers in a game. Wide receiver Braylon Edwards had 146 yards and tight end Kellen Winslow 100 in what turned out to be the highlight reel for their long-ago days with the Browns.
OFFENSE STYMIED:Bengals running back Cedric Benson came in as the NFL rushing leader but his matchup against the league's sixth-worst defense didn't go as planned. He had a season-low 44 yards on 16 carries, his fewest in 11 games, when he had 17 yards on 10 carries against Baltimore last Nov. 30.
Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco had his first official 100-yard day as The Ocho with 103 yards on five catches, his first 100-yarder since he had 131 in the '07 finale in Miami. His 50-yard catch in the first half was also his longest since that game.