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Texans @ Bengals

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(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- There are precious few Week 1 concerns so pressing that a team would consider its season a catastrophe should they manifest themslves. However, the Houston Texans' construction of their offensive line has laid bare issues at quarterback and put the viability of their season at risk.

Even after the franchise traded up in the first round of the draft to select Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson 12th overall, Texans head coach Bill O'Brien stood firm on his commitment to fourth-year veteran

Tom Savage as his starting signal-caller, citing both experience and familiarity with the offense as primary reasons behind that decision.

Thirty minutes into the first game of the season, O'Brien flip-flopped, benching Savage at the intermission of the Texans' embarrassing 29-7 home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and tossing his rookie feet first into the fire, a blaze raging behind an offensive line functioning more like a sieve. With Savage sacked six times in the first half, O'Brien deduced that the mobile Watson could effectively elude pressure and provide the Texans a sorely needed offensive spark.

The Jaguars dumped Watson four times in the second half. An offensive line missing right tackle Derek Newton, sidelined following surgery to repair both patellar tendons, and left tackle Duane Brown, holding out over a contract dispute, wasn't any more effective at protecting Watson than it was Savage. Guards Jeff Allen and Xavier Su'a-Filo and replacement tackles Kendall Lamm and Breno Giacomini underperformed badly, surrendering pressure repeatedly.

Now, with the Texans (0-1) set to face the Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) in Cincinnati on Thursday night, O'Brien appears poised to shift his allegiance to Watson despite there being no evidence that Watson will

survive, let alone excel, behind the turnstiles charged with providing him a suitable pocket. O'Brien did not publicly commit to Watson as his starter, but according to published reports that is the direction the

Texans are leaning as they strive to revive an offensive pulse.

"I don't think it changes that much for either guy," O'Brien said. "They both obviously have different skillsets. There's maybe three or four different plays that we run and vice versa that the other guy doesn't run, but it (the offense) doesn't really change too much."

Complicating matters should Watson earn his first career start is an avalanche of offensive injuries. Allen (ankle) will not play on Thursday, giving way to another backup, Greg Mancz. The Texans' tight-end depth chart was obliterated by concussions, with C.J. Fiedorowicz, who was on Tuesday placed on injured reserve, Ryan Griffin, and Stephen Anderson all concussed against the Jaguars. Houston also lost receiver

Bruce Ellington, who enjoyed a productive preseason, to a concussion, but will welcome back receiver Jaelen Strong from his one-game suspension.

Whatever decision is made at quarterback, the offensive line remains broken and the depth chart compromised. That makes for a volatile mix liable to explode with additional agitation.

"No, I'm not waiting to have that conversation," Savage said. "I don't think he (O'Brien) owes either of us any explanation. We just have to be ready. That's called being a professional."

The Bengals aren't in the position to scoff at the Texans' struggles. In absorbing a home shutout loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati mustered a measly 221 total yards on 58 plays.

For all the promise assigned to rookie running back Joe Mixon, he produced just nine yards on eight carries in his debut. The Bengals' tailback depth, with Mixon supporting accomplished veterans Giovani

Bernard and Jeremy Hill, amassed only 75 yards on 21 carries, or 3.6 per rush.

However, the most galling development was the woeful performance of veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, who completed 16 of 31 attempts for 170 yards with four interceptions. He posted a 28.4 passer rating and, by that metric, delivered his worst showing since Nov. 6, 2014, when he passed for 86 yards with three interceptions in a 24-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Given their sub-.500 finish of 2016, their first following five consecutive postseason berths, the last thing Cincinnati anticipated in its opener was Dalton struggling so mightily in defeat.

"It happened," Dalton said. "Not the start that we wanted to have but for us, our mindset is we have 15 more. There's a long season ahead of us, and so we're pushing to do whatever we can to get a win this week on Thursday."

Said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis: "I'm very confident that Andy will (bounce back). That's uncharacteristic ... to his play. We need him to play better and I expect him to play better as we move forward."

 

 

Bengals gon win.

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Houston has Cincy's number, this game won't be close. Bengals gonna get the rare DOUBLE BAGEL.

 

:Texans: 20

:Bengals: 0

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The Ravens defense obliterated Cincy's pathetic O-line that they just decided to not give any fucks about in the off-season.

 

Houston and Company are going to come in hot and heavy after losing to a divisional opponent the way they did.

 

:Texans: 14

 

:Bengals: 0

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The Ravens defense obliterated Cincy's pathetic O-line that they just decided to not give any fucks about in the off-season.

 

Houston and Company are going to come in hot and heavy after losing to a divisional opponent the way they did.

 

:Texans: 14

 

:Bengals: 0

Houston just got embarrassed by the fucking Jags at home. Short week with a rookie QB making his first start on the road, and they're dealing with a bunch of injuries. What world are you living in?

 

Bengals win 17-10. Dog shit game between two dog shit teams.

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Bengals WR Tyler Boyd is a healthy scratch for Week 2 against the Texans.

The Bengals' official website expects John Ross, Brandon LaFell and Alex Erickson to rotate in the slot in Boyd's absence. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner opined on Twitter that "you have to wonder what is going on behind the scenes with Tyler Boyd and this coaching staff." Indeed. Boyd caught one pass on four targets/42 snaps in Week 1.
Also inactive for the Bengals are RG Trey Hopkins, DE Michael Johnson (concussion), TE C.J. Uzomah, CB KeiVarae Russell, OG Alex Redmond and WR Josh Malone.

 

 

 

Texans declared RG Jeff Allen, TE Ryan Griffin, TE Stephen Anderson, RB Alfred Blue, WR Will Fuller and WR Bruce Ellington inactive for Week 2 against the Bengals.

The Texans are stunningly injury ravaged for Deshaun Watson's first career NFL start. He'll go with an anonymous group at tight end, and be missing two starting offensive linemen. He's being set up to fail.

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First time since the 39 Eagles a team went their first two games at home without a Touchdown? Epic fail

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Bengals gon win.

Good call, Vin.

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Does anyone know why the Texans decided to start Tom Savage over DeShaun Watson in week 1? I don't but I'm sure Jags fans aren't mad about it lol.

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They'll probably be glad to get Watson some experience now, but damn he has a lot to work on. Accuracy is erratic as hell and he can't do anything beyond a first read.

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Yeah I think he's a much more coachable Vince Young in that he has that innate play making ability. He's not scared of any moment. Where Watson and Young are different is really important though. Watson isn't entitled to anything and he works his ass off. He's a great kid. Bill O'Brien finally has a QB with some talent to see if he can coach him up.

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They'll probably be glad to get Watson some experience now, but damn he has a lot to work on. Accuracy is erratic as hell and he can't do anything beyond a first read.

 

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He takes some really awful sacks too. Might wscape the first defender but eventually still goes down but like 10 yards further back. Lol

 

There's at least some potential tho. Seems a bit irresponsible to me to go throughout the offseason and then the draft and enter the season with this group of QBs though. I mean are they even trying ?

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Yeah I think Watson has a ton of potential but it's pretty clear Kizer was more pro ready which is what the Texans really needed because they have a good team that could make a playoff run if they had better QB play.

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Seems a bit irresponsible to me to go throughout the offseason and then the draft and enter the season with this group of QBs though. I mean are they even trying ?

 

That's been their strategy during O'Brien's tenure, though, hasn't it? While most teams adopt a policy of aggressively drafting a franchise QB if they don't have one, Houston has waited patiently for one.

 

In 2014, they drafted Clowney instead of Blake Bortles. Ok, in hindsight, good move. But they also passed on Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo. They eventually drafted Tom Savage.

 

The 2015 QB draft class looks pretty bad outside of the top two picks (Winston and Mariota), but Houston probably couldn't get either one if they had tried.

 

Same thing in 2016--I doubt they could have gotten Goff or Wentz--but they also passed on Dak Prescott. I guess so did everyone else, to be fair? Also, this was the year they signed Brock Osweiler.

 

Ok, so in hindsight, you can't blame the Texans for passing on most QB prospects. And you've got to give O'Brien credit for coaching a competent team (perennially 9-7) despite nothing at QB. But by waiting, they've gotten themselves in a tough situation. Let's say they go 9-7 or something like that this year. Do you can O'Brien after four years of mediocrity, or do you trust him to turn Watson into a star?

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The only reason Watson is a better option than Savage right now is poor OL play. Savage probably wins week 1 with decent protection. I don't think they benched Savage as much as realized they needed to play the guy who could avoid pressure better.

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Relying on your supposed WB-guru ness without it paying off would lead me to change things up a bit I think lol .

 

Edit:

 

Also looks like the Bengals let their OC go.

Edited by Olenna4Ever

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Well when you start the season like the 1939 Eagles, you're doing something horribly wrong.

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Houston just got embarrassed by the fucking Jags at home. Short week with a rookie QB making his first start on the road, and they're dealing with a bunch of injuries. What world are you living in?

 

Bengals win 17-10. Dog shit game between two dog shit teams.

 

Yeah. You were 100% correct here... not.

 

So you should probably stop talking shit and focus on paying blots.

 

Until then...

 

tumblr_mkehhz6IN51rhybyko1_400.gif

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