CINCINNATI, Sporting Alert — NFL Week 2 fixtures kicked off on Thursday night at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, where the Bengals will host the Houston Texans at 8:25 PM ET.
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Both teams will go in search of their first win of the season, having lost their respective season-opening games on Sunday.
Houston, which clinched the AFC South with a 12-10 win over the Bengals last year, has won its last two head-to-head clashes and seven of eight against Cincinnati.
However, ESPN’s Football Power Index is giving the Texans the Bengals the edge in this one. The hosts will start with a 64.5 percent chance to win the game with Houston at 35.2 percent to make it three straight wins over its fellow AFC rivals.
Cincinnati Bengals News
The Bengals were shut out in a season opener for the first time since 1979 after losing 20-0 to the Baltimore Ravens at home on Sunday with losing quarterback Andy Dalton hoping to bounce back from his own personal performance.
Dalton, who was intercepted four times on the day, became the first Bengals quarterback to throw four picked in a season opener since Jeff Blake in 1995. He finished the game without a touchdown pass and went 16 of 31 for 170 yards.
Dalton’s nightmarish Week 1 display was identified by Elias Sports Bureau as one of the worst QBR performance all-time after his 4 interceptions were backed up by 5 sacks, a fumble and a 28.4 QB rating.
Come Thursday night, the 29-year-old will be aiming for a much better showing.
Meanwhile, right guard Trey Hopkins hurt his left knee late in the first half against the Ravens and will not play in Thursday’s game against the Texans.
Defensive end Michael Johnson, who suffered a concussion on the final play of the first half and didn’t return, also won’t play in Thursday’s game.
John Ross, CJ Uzomah and Shawn Williams are all questionable.
Meanwhile, cornerback Adam Jones, who missed Sunday’s 20-0 loss to the Ravens because of suspension, is now available to play.
Houston Texans News
Both quarterbacks Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson struggled in Houston’s 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday and will need to wait to find out who head coach Bill O’Brien will select as his starter.
O’Brien will more than likely make his decision just before game time.
The QBs combined for 10 sacks with Savage put down six times and Watson four.
There were also four turnovers that helped the Jaguars picked up the win and the visitors must correct those mistakes if they are going to win on the road.
Watson, who entered the game thirty minutes into the season opener, went 12 of 23 for 102 yards and a touchdown, while Savage, who was replaced, was 7 of 13 for 62 yards in Week 1.
In the meantime, the NFL said Wednesday that Houston’s linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended for 10 games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Cushing will remain ineligible for team selection until Nov. 28.
This could be the time for rookies Zach Cunningham and Dylan Cole to show what they can do.