Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals

HOU
13
CIN
9
FINAL
1234T
HOU 370313
CIN 06309

Game Information
Location: Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio
Attendance: 52,942

CINCINNATI (AP) Deshaun Watson showed up in a black tuxedo for his first NFL start. From his snazzy bowtie to his game-turning scramble, he did it all his style.

The rookie ran 49 yards for a touchdown and led the Houston Texans' depleted offense to a late clinching field goal in a 13-9 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.

"I was just trying to make a play, I found a hole and broke away," he said.

Yes, it was that easy.

Watson showed up in a black tuxedo - it was his 22nd birthday, no less - and showed the flash that helped him lead Clemson to a national title last season. He avoided the rush and ran 49 yards for a 10-3 lead late in the first half, dashing past befuddled defenders.

Some birthday.

"The first start on my birthday was pretty emotional," said Watson, wearing a Texans T-shirt to his postgame media availability.

The Texans (1-1) got the most out of their depleted offense, and then let their defense do the rest. The Bengals (0-2) have failed to score a touchdown in their two games to open a season for the first time in their 50 seasons.

The Bengals are the first team since the 1939 Eagles to open a season with two home games and fail to get in the end zone, according to information from the Elias Sports Bureau shared by ESPN.

"I am shocked," coach Marvin Lewis said.

Watson led a 13-play drive that set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's 42-yard field goal with 1:56 left. The Bengals got the ball, but turned it over near midfield on a fourth-down completion. After a punt, they ran one more play with 2 seconds left that didn't get far.

Cincinnati lost to the Ravens 20-0 at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, the first time in their history that they opened the season blanked at home. Andy Dalton threw four interceptions and lost a fumble.

The Bengals managed only three field goals by Randy Bullock on Thursday. Dalton fell to 1-6 career against the Texans, including a pair of playoff losses. He was 20 of 35 for 224 yards with three sacks.

"Very surprised," receiver A.J. Green said. "We practice well, but when it comes to the game, we're out of character. I don't know what we're doing out there."

Watson directed an offense missing three tight ends because of concussions, along with receiver Will Fuller V and guard Jeff Allen. The Texans kept it simple, and Watson avoided the game-turning mistake despite heavy pressure from the Bengals.

Watson was 15 of 24 for 125 yards with three sacks and no interceptions. He ran five times for 67 yards. Watson became the first rookie quarterback to win his first start on the road in a prime-time game since the Eagles' Joe Webb in 2010, according to Elias.

The Bengals became the first team that opened the season with five scoreless quarters since the 2009 Rams, who went 1-15.

They thought they finally had a touchdown when Tyler Eifert caught a pass from Dalton in the end zone in the third quarter - the videoboard broke into a touchdown song - but the tight end had stepped out of bounds before making the catch, nullifying it. Cincinnati settled for its third field goal.

STATS

Texans CB Kareem Jackson got his first career sack. ... Watson's TD came on the longest run by a Texan since Arian Foster had a 51-yard run against the Jaguars in 2014. ... The Bengals went 76 minutes, 16 seconds before getting Bullock's field goal for their first points of the season.

OUCH!

On the final play with multiple laterals, Dalton got the ball back and threw it to center Russell Bodine, who was leveled by J.J. Watt to end the game.

"Zig-zag, zig-zag, zig-zag, tired, tired, tired," Watt said, describing the multi-lateral play. "Thank you for throwing it to the guy closest to me - body slam."

WATT'S RETURN: That wasn't Watt's only emphatic play as he got back in form. He returned from a back injury that wiped out most of his 2016 season and managed only one tackle and one quarterback hit during an opening 29-7 loss to the Jaguars. On Thursday, he had six tackles, knocked down one pass and hit Dalton once.

TRADING JERSEYS

Watson and Bengals rookie running back Joe Mixon exchanged jerseys on the field after the game.

INJURIES

The Texans lost two cornerbacks. Johnathan Joseph hurt his right shoulder while making a tackle in the first half and didn't return. Kevin Johnson hurt his left knee in the third quarter and was out. The Texans already were missing LB Brian Cushing. He's in the NFL's concussion protocol and has been suspended 10 games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Bengals: CB Adam "Pacman" Jones returned from his one-game NFL suspension for an offseason conviction and hurt his right elbow in the fourth quarter, but returned and finished the game.

UP NEXT

The Texans play at New England. They're 1-8 against the Patriots, including a 34-16 playoff loss last season.

The Bengals play at Green Bay for the first time since 2009. They've won three straight against the Packers, two of them at Paul Brown Stadium.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Texans Bengals
01:28 Ka'imi Fairbairn 26 yd FG 3 0

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Texans Bengals
13:44 Randy Bullock 39 yd FG 3 3
00:50 Deshaun Watson 49 yd run (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick) 10 3
00:02 Randy Bullock 29 yd FG 10 6

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Texans Bengals
06:26 Randy Bullock 30 yd FG 10 9

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Texans Bengals
01:56 Ka'imi Fairbairn 42 yd FG 13 9

Team Stats
  Houston Cincinnati
1st Downs 14 12
Total Yards 266 295
Passing 98 213
Passing Completions/Attempts 15-24 20-35
Yards/Pass 3.6 5.6
Rushing 168 82
Rushing Attempts 35 24
Yards/Rush 4.8 3.4
Turnovers 0 1
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Interceptions Thrown 0 0
Possession 32:15 27:45

Houston Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Deshaun Watson 15 24 125 5.2 0 0

Cincinnati Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Andy Dalton 20 35 224 6.4 0 0

Houston Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Deshaun Watson 5 67 13.4 1 49
Lamar Miller 18 61 3.4 0 19
D'Onta Foreman 12 40 3.3 0 9

Cincinnati Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Joe Mixon 9 36 4.0 0 7
Jeremy Hill 6 17 2.8 0 6
John Ross 1 12 12.0 0 12
Giovani Bernard 5 10 2.0 0 6
Andy Dalton 2 5 2.5 0 3
Alex Erickson 1 2 2.0 0 2

Houston Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
DeAndre Hopkins 7 73 10.4 0 25
Lamar Miller 3 26 8.7 0 12
Tyler Ervin 3 16 5.3 0 7
Braxton Miller 2 10 5.0 0 8

Cincinnati Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
A.J. Green 5 67 13.4 0 50
Alex Erickson 4 62 15.5 0 37
Tyler Eifert 3 42 14.0 0 22
Brandon LaFell 4 30 7.5 0 12
Giovani Bernard 2 16 8.0 0 8
Joe Mixon 1 5 5.0 0 5
Jeremy Hill 1 2 2.0 0 2

Houston Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Kareem Jackson 5 3 1 4
J.J. Watt 5 1 0 0
Benardrick McKinney 4 2 2 7
Zach Cunningham 4 0 0 0
Jadeveon Clowney 3 1 0 0
Kevin Johnson 3 1 0 0
Eddie Pleasant 3 0 0 0
Johnathan Joseph 2 1 0 0
Christian Covington 1 2 0 0
Marcus Gilchrist 1 0 0 0
Andre Hal 1 1 0 0
Corey Moore 1 2 0 0
D.J. Reader 1 4 0 0
Dylan Cole 0 3 0 0
Kurtis Drummond 0 0 0 0
Joel Heath 0 1 0 0
Shane Lechler 0 0 0 0
Brian Peters 0 0 0 0
Jaelen Strong 0 0 0 0
Jon Weeks 0 0 0 0

Cincinnati Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Vincent Rey 6 5 0 0
Adam Jones 5 0 0 0
George Iloka 4 2 0 0
Shawn Williams 4 2 0 0
Chris Smith 3 3 1 14
Darqueze Dennard 3 0 0 0
Nick Vigil 3 2 0 0
Geno Atkins 2 3 2 13
Carlos Dunlap 2 2 0 0
Dre Kirkpatrick 2 0 0 0
Kevin Minter 1 1 0 0
Pat Sims 1 2 0 0
Jordan Willis 1 4 0 0
Andy Dalton 0 0 0 0
Ryan Glasgow 0 2 0 0
Clark Harris 0 0 0 0
Ryan Hewitt 0 0 0 0
William Jackson 0 0 0 0
Carl Lawson 0 0 0 0
Josh Shaw 0 0 0 0
Derron Smith 0 0 0 0

Houston Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Cincinnati Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Houston Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Tyler Ervin 1 17 17.0 0 17

Cincinnati Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Alex Erickson 2 76 38.0 0 41

Houston Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Tyler Ervin 3 15 5.0 0 7

Cincinnati Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Alex Erickson 4 57 14.2 0 26
Adam Jones 2 41 20.5 0 33

Houston Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Ka'imi Fairbairn 2 2 100.0 42

Cincinnati Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Randy Bullock 3 3 100.0 39

Houston Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Shane Lechler 9 440 59

Cincinnati Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Kevin Huber 7 334 61