Watson gets the start for the Texans in Cincinnati

The numbers are ugly, to say the least.

The Texans have made it official that rookie QB Deshaun Watson will start tonight against the Bengals after replacing Tom Savage at halftime of their opener. He has been sacked eight times and has a QB rating of 47.2.

The first quarter of the game hasn't been the most interesting, with all prior drives ending in punts. O'Brien was asked about that decision on Monday, and you could tell he knew he screwed up.

To get Hopkins the ball, the coaches have to put him in position to make plays the way the Texans used to set up Andre Johnson. Things like that. I thought that Tom really hung in there and played very tough.

If the Bengals get another horrifying performance from Dalton, we could be heading to AJ McCarron getting some playing time soon, and that may not be much of an upgrade for the Bengals. Even in what would be considered a down game for the team's best unit, Houston still held Blake Bortles to just 125 passing yards on 21 attempts.

Cote's pick: CIN 23-16. A major gap remains on the left side of the line, as holdout OT Duane Brown will miss his second straight game. Because make no mistake, these offenses were bad on Sunday. Andy Dalton is completing 51.6 percent of his passes for 170 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions. If the Bengals ever get near a goal line, we'll find out. Tight ends C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson are sidelined because of concussions. Somehow, O'Brien managed to give his most explosive playmaker on offense just one carry for four yards.

The Bengals did little to solve their jumbled situation in the backfield, either. Here are the one-on-one battles to keep an eye on this Thursday night. Watson wasn't good with a 60.4 passer rating and an interception, though he did throw the Texans' only touchdown pass of Week 1 and should be better against Cincinnati's defense.

Impact player: D'onta Foreman. After directly giving up four of the Bengals five turnovers on Sunday.

The Bengals play at Green Bay for the first time since 2009. Depending on how he does, the Bengals defense could be in for a challenging night. Eventually, Mixon was expected to emerge, and given that he got more touches than Hill and Bernard, perhaps he still eventually will.

  • Joanne Flowers