Watson Leads Texans Past Bengals 13-9

Former Clemson Tiger ran 49 yards for a touchdown in his first NFL start

Ed Jenson
September 15, 2017 - 12:07 am
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 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, dashing past befuddled defenders.

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 directed an offense missing three tight ends because of concussions, along with receiver Will Fuller V and guard Jeff Allen. The Texans kept it simple, and Watson avoided the game-turning mistake despite heavy pressure from the Bengals.

Watson was 15 of 24 for 125 yards and no interceptions. He ran five times for 67 yards.

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