Watson runs for TD, leads Texans over Bengals 13-9
CINCINNATI (AP) — Deshaun Watson showed up in a black tuxedo for his first NFL start. From his snazzy bowtie to his game-turning scramble, he did it all his style.
The rookie ran 49 yards for a touchdown and led the Houston Texans’ depleted offense to a late clinching field goal in a 13-9 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.
“I was just trying to make a play, I found a hole and broke away,” he said. Yes, it was that easy. Watson showed up in a black tuxedo — it was his 22nd birthday, no less — and showed the flash that helped him lead Clemson to a national title last season. He avoided the rush and ran 49 yards for a 10-3 lead late in the first half, dashing past befuddled defenders.
“The first start on my birthday was pretty emotional,” said Watson, wearing a Texans T-shirt to his postgame media availability.
The Texans (1-1) got the most out of their depleted offense, and then let their defense do the rest. The Bengals (0-2) have failed to score a touchdown in their two games to open a season for the first time in their 50 seasons.
The Bengals are the first team since the 1939 Eagles to open a season with two home games and fail to get in the end zone, according to information from the Elias Sports Bureau shared by ESPN.
“I am shocked,” coach Marvin Lewis said.
Watson led a 13-play drive that set up Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 42-yard field goal with 1:56 left. The Bengals got the ball, but turned it over near midfield on a fourth-down completion. After a punt, they ran one more play with 2 seconds left that didn’t get far.
Cincinnati lost to the Ravens 20-0 at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, the first time in their history that they opened the season blanked at home. Andy Dalton threw four interceptions and lost a fumble.
The Bengals managed only three field goals by Randy Bullock on Thursday. Dalton fell to 1-6 career against the Texans, including a pair of playoff losses. He was 20 of 35 for 224 yards with three sacks.