John McClain grades the Texans in win over Bengals

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A very nervy offensive line without contract holdout Duane Brown allowed a franchise-record 10 sacks, starting quarterback Tom Savage was benched at half-time while last season's statistically-best all-round defense looked sloppy with numerous missed tackles and blown assignments.

Stick with our game tracker here for all the highlights and updates of the Thursday Night Football showdown.

The Texans will have to take an injury-depleted squad to Cincinnati on Thursday, but Jaelen Strong is finally back after serving his one-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, and he's ready for the game against the Bengals.

Houston opened this season with a 29-7 loss at home to Jacksonville, and it's hard to put perfume on that pig.

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. The Texans can't improve much until Savage or Watson prove they're worthy of leading the offense. He just has to avoid making big mistakes while the defense does its job.

No kidding. And as one might expect given the blocking woes, neither QB had the luxury of help from Houston's run game.

Houston owns the edge in the series with Cincinnati, winning seven of the last eight meetings straight up and going 7-2 against the spread over the last nine meetings.

Houston Texans' top draft-pick Deshaun Watson will make his first career start at quarterback versus the Cincinnati Bengals, an ESPN source reports.

Jaguars' Allen Robinson out for season with torn ACL
Jacksonville is better too, but as long as Blake Bortles is behind center the Texans will have the advantage in that matchup. Defensively, the Jaguars are yielding 16.8 points and 338.2 total yards, 234.5 in passing and 103.8 in rushing per game.

Leave it to J.J. Watt.

Cincinnati also flaunted amateur offensive-line play - averaging just 3.5 yards per rush. To guide the Bengals to their first playoff win in decades. The Bengals have some beasts on the defensive line, led by Geno Atkins, and they'll be in Watson's face all night. Andy Dalton is completing 51.6 percent of his passes for 170 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions.

Cincinnati lost its home opener, 20-0, to the Ravens and it was bad. Dalton has thrown six interceptions in his last four games. Watson saw playing time in week one but did not start. The Texans' tight-end depth chart was obliterated by concussions, with C.J.

Five Texans were in the concussion protocol Monday.

Maybe one of these teams will prove that their Week 1 shortcomings were a fluke.

With Cushing potentially out and Watt dealing with another injury, Houston's defense could have another disappointing performance against an offense that has some risky playmakers. Fortunately, that's probably not the case.

This will be the Texans' 12th game against the Bengals, two of which were consecutive postseason AFC Wild Card games in 2012 and 2013. Both teams are going into Week 2 working outside of that familiar rhythm this week.

The real Vegas over under is 38, which means Vegas thinks 38 total points will be scored.



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