HOUSTON - The Houston Texans must quickly move on from their disappointing Week 1 defeat with Thursday night’s encounter with the Bengals in Cincinnati.
This will be the Texans’ 12th game against the Bengals, two of which were consecutive postseason AFC Wild Card games in 2012 and 2013. The Texans hold a significant edge in the series with a 7-4 record.
The Texans’ first three games against the Bengals ended in defeat, including a 38-3 drubbing at home in the Texans’ inaugural season. The teams didn’t meet in 2006 or 2007, but the Texans had their biggest win over their AFC rivals in 2008 in a 35-6 victory in Houston.
After this first victory, the Texans did not lose to the Bengals during Gary Kubiak’s tenure as coach, including in the first playoff game in franchise history. Bill O’Brien’s first season offered a brief respite from the string of defeats. The Bengals bested the Texans 22-13 in 2014 at NRG Stadium.
The last two seasons had thrilling finishes despite low-scoring defensive battles. In 2015, the Texans lost starting quarterback Brian Hoyer to a concussion, turning to backup T.J. Yates. He engineered a fourth-quarter touchdown drive culminating in a spectacular DeAndre Hopkins catch to secure an unlikely victory against a previously unbeaten Cincinnati outfit at Paul Brown Stadium.
Last year, Tom Savage’s first career start ended in a happily on Christmas Eve. Former Texans draftee Randy Bullock missed a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Both recent and long-term history is with the Texans, but battling injuries on the road and still smarting from the heavy defeat against the Jaguars, the team faces an uphill battle to prevail against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
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