Rookie QB Watson helps Texans hold off Bengals 13-9
Deshaun Watson ran 49 yards for a touchdown in his first NFL start 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.
Watson showed up in a black tuxedo for his first NFL start it was his 22nd birthday, no less and showed the flash that helped him lead Clemson to a national title. He avoided the rush and ran 49 yards for a 10-3 lead late in the first half. 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.
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 two more times but failed to cross midfield.
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.
Watson was 15 of 24 for 125 yards and no interceptions. He ran five times for 67 yards.
The Bengals became the first team that opened the season with five scoreless quarters since the 2009 Rams. BRADY ACCEPTS CONCUSSIONS » Tom Brady doesn’t worry about concussions and considers them part of playing football, the New England Patriots quarterback says in a television interview to be broadcast this weekend. “I’m not oblivious to them,” Brady tells “CBS Sunday Morning.” “I mean, I understand the risks that, you know, come with . the physical nature of our game.”
Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, had said in an interview with the show in May that the quarterback has had concussions that weren’t reported. Brady denied it, and a joint NFL and players union investigation found no evidence that the team failed to follow the league’s policies. BECKHAM BACK AT PRACTICE » Odell Beckham Jr. is getting closer to returning to the Giants. The threetime Pro Bowl receiver, who missed the season opener in Dallas, practiced on a limited basis for the first time since spraining his left ankle more than three weeks ago. Beckham actually took two steps in his recovery. He took part in some individualized drills and followed that by running routes at “not high speed” and taking some mental reps at the end of practice in preparation for Monday night’s home opener against the Detroit Lions. He said there are still some movements that bother his ankle. JETS LINEBACKER FACING SEASON-ENDING SURGERY » Lorenzo Mauldin’s season appears to be over before it ever started. The New York Jets linebacker has a herniated disk in his back that likely will need season-ending surgery.
Mauldin, 24, is on the injured reserve list after missing almost all of training camp and each of the four preseason games because of the back ailment. He returned for one practice midway through camp but hasn’t been on the field since. Mauldin is in his third season with the Jets after being a third-round draft choice out of Louisville in 2015. MILESTONE ON HORIZON FOR PEPPERS » Julius Peppers is on the verge of joining some elite company. The 37-yearold defensive end picked up a half-sack in his first game back with the Panthers last Sunday against the 49ers and now has 144 for his career, inching closer to joining Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Kevin Greene and Chris Doleman as the only players in NFL history with 150 career sacks. WOODHEAD GONE » The Ravens placed running back Danny Woodhead on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Woodhead injured his left leg early in the season opener and did not return. He missed part of camp with a hamstring injury to the same leg.
Rookie Deshaun Watson, center, brings smiles to the Texans after scoring on a touchdown run in his first start.