TRUE GRIT and a determined defense helped the Texans even their record to 1-1 with a 13-9 win at Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. While the contest wasn’t a work of football art, coach Bill O’Brien left pleased with the performance of his rookie backfield of quarterback Deshaun Watson and running back D’Onta Foreman.
Watson scored the game’s only touchdown on a sparkling 49-yard run in the second quarter while completing 15-of-24 passes for 125 yards in his first professional start. Foreman, the Texas City native, gave the offense a level of toughness on the ground, finishing with 40 yards on 12 carries.
“It’s like I’ve said from the start him. He’s got good poise,” said O’Brien of Watson. “He’s a smart guy. He rarely makes the same mistake twice, he kind of learns right away. He’s a quick learner. He just did a nice job.”
Applauding Watson’s effort quickly focused on next Sunday’s trip to New England Patriots, a place the Texans have never won at, including an AFC Divisional Round playoff loss this past January. Preparing Watson to take on the defending Super Bowl champs will be a focal point of practice over the next week.
“That’s part of it. I’m not obviously going to get into that, but that’s part of it,” said O’Brien.
The coach was also pleased with what he saw from Foreman, who saw an extensive amount of action after being limited to just one carry in the season opening loss to Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite the issues surrounding the offensive line, Foreman and starting running back Lamar Miller helped the Texans control the clock for more than 32 minutes.
“I thought he did a good job,” said O’Brien. “He’s a downhill guy. He’s got good vision. He’s a big guy and he ran hard. I thought for his first…that’s the first time he’s had that much action. He did a good job.”
Already banged up, the Texans suffered another critical injury as cornerback Kevin Johnson will miss between 4-6 weeks with an MCL injury. The door is open for Kareem Jackson and Marcus Burley to see more action beginning with the Patriots’ receiving corps. ?