HOUSTON - Left tackle Levi Jones gave the Bengals the kind of game they needed Sunday when AFC sack leader Mario Williams got just one.
It was a big one because it caused quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's fourth sack and fumble in as many starts. But it didn't come until late in the third quarter when school was out on the pass rush.
And Williams indicated it didn't even come against Jones.
"I had a tight end above me and he tried to chip me and I kind of moved around a little bit and pushed him back into the tackle," Williams said. "I got a good punch with him and then I turned the corner. I saw the ball and just hit the ball."
Williams did cause a big holding call against right tackle Stacy Andrews that wiped out a big third-down play on the first series of the second half.
"I would have given up 10 sacks if it meant we would have won," Jones said. "I think I was able to have some success against him others haven't had."
Asked to elaborate, Jones politely declined.
"We have so few secrets left," he said, "can we at least keep a couple quiet?"
SKATING ISSUE: One of the biggest fans of Kevin Walter is his Pro Bowl running mate. While the Bengals' Chris Henry struggled with one catch for three yards, Walter complemented Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson's huge day with his typical in-the-right-place 70 yards and two touchdowns that Cincinnati fans saw in 2005.
"I was really excited for Kevin today with him going up against his old team and getting two touchdowns, you know, he was really pumped before the game," Johnson said. "That's why he had offsides, probably. I was telling him to calm down, and he goes 'Oh whatever, I'll look out for you.' We have a lot of guys that can make plays. If you try and shut one guy down, the other guy can go and make the play. So there's not going to be a player in the red zone who is wide open so when they try to worry about one guy, they've got to worry about a lot of other guys that can make plays for us."
Walter, who became a Texan when the Bengals didn't match a four-year, $6 million offer sheet for their fifth receiver after the '05 season, celebrated his 39-yard-catch-and-popup touchdown that beat cornerback Johnathan Joseph with an end-zone dance inspired by the skateboard.
"I don't do that stuff much but I had to give a little shimmy on that second one," said the usually reserved Walter. "I was excited and it was kind of a spur of the moment thing and it was a lot of fun."
Here was Walter's take on that play, where Joseph got ripped for just tagging Walter after he scrambled to his feet:
"It was man coverage and I knew I was going to get the ball once we knew the corners were over. I dove for it a little bit and I knew he was behind me a little bit so I had to get up and obviously he didn't tackle me so I had to take it the distance."
Walter had two-four catch games for the Bengals in '05. He had 47 yards in the opener in Cleveland that included a 20-yard touchdown and 65 yards in a win over Tennessee
THIS AND THAT: SAM linebacker Eric Henderson made his NFL debut Sunday after three years of waiting and in addition to covering kickoffs and blocking for them he got about eight-to-10 snaps from scrimmage when Rashad Jeanty went down with a foot injury.
"I treated it like practice, although it was obviously a little faster," he said.
Jacoby Jones' 73-yard punt return for a Texans touchdown in the first three minutes of the game was the longest return in Bengals special teams coach Darrin Simmons' six-year tenure and just the second taken to the house. The Ravens' Ed Reed popped a 63-yarder in the 2007 opener for a touchdown