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Incompletions (Texans v. Bengals): I Felt Something

With so much to write and talk about after every game, and not enough time for one man to write about it all, the masthead joins together and reacts to the Houston Texans win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Weston:

Along the way I have stopped caring about sports like I used to. Rather than live and die by every week, every half, every play, I pick and choose. My Epicardium is riddled by scabs, I have lint in my Aorta, and my ventricles are more dented than an '82 Civic. As I've gotten older, and as I've been hurt too many times in my silly little life, it's made it impossible for me to care about everything that goes on in this entertainment world we call sports.

So instead, I learn as much as I can about the team, the game, and then try to decide before the season starts how much emotion I am willing to invest into the upcoming schedule. I try to reserve my feelings for when there's reasons to. For when the team is actually going to be good. I'll still watch every game and follow the team, but I just can't care about all of it like I used to.

But dammit, when Quintin Demps forced that fumble from A.J. Green last night, I felt something. My insides rattled and shook. I swung my head and just giggled in disbelief. For the first time since Week Two in 2013, I got excited about something the Houston Texans did. It was weird. It was eerie. And now I'm so scared.

It was just one win, and the Houston Texans aren't a good football team. But eff it. I'm excited for the rest of the year. If the defense can keep playing like this, if they can win the turnover battle, if they can win one possession games, if DeAndre Hopkins can be the entire offense, if they can sweep the AFC South over the rest of the season, they can pull this off and make the playoffs.

None of this is a logical sustainable strategy. It's an awful way to try and win football games. Bill O'Brien and Rick Smith should be ashamed to have this much talent at certain positions and have to bring out a team that is forced to play this way.

Regardless, emotionally I'm in. I don't care, and I'm so scared, and this will definitely end very badly.




I'm shocked that we won. Happy, of course, but shocked. The narrative will be how the Bengals played down to the level of their competition (and some nonsense about BB guns), but credit the defense for playing the way we thought they were capable of and essentially shutting down one of the best offenses in the NFL. Kudos to WeeJay for stepping in and (except for his first throw) getting right to work. There are still issues to be addressed (the media are circling like vultures), but the team was able to pull together and finally execute a game plan worth a d@mn. Squee!!!!!

Capt Ron:

As I mentioned in the predictions article, this seemed like the perfect game for the Texans to beat the Bengals after a wild weekend of several upsets throughout the league. Hopefully the team can build on this momentum through the rest of the season. I'm not sure how far they can go in the postseason with this offense, but the defense that we had expected to see this year has really delivered in the last two games.

Yeah, I Think We Know Where He Got Hit.


Brett Kollmann:

I am absolutely stunned. The defense hasn't played like THAT in a long time against an elite offense, even in the prime years under Wade Phillips. The offense wasn't great, but it did just enough to get the win. That was a true slugfest on both sides of the ball, and oh, my, are those kinds of victories satisfying. I never imagined that this would happen, and yet here we are. The Texans are first place in the AFC South and have all the momentum in the world to take this division. It is now officially a brand new season, ladies and gentlemen.

J.J. Watt is Good at Football and Bad at Jokes.

DieHard Chris:

I am truly, legitimately stunned by this win - and that does not happen often.  Sure, Tyler Eifert KILLED the Bengals with his bad drops and Dalton went full-on Dalton a couple of times, but even the untrained eye could see RAC doing some different things with the defense this week.  Actual adjustments were made, and they were successful.  Brian Cushing played like a madman, and Benardrick McKinney really showed me something.  All that said, the Texans earned this win, sure, but they were extremely fortunate due to this abomination of an offense.  Factor in having to put the ball in T.J. Yates' hands, and the Texans really had to have a lot of breaks go their way.

Obviously the offense not only hasn't "turned a corner"- it can't even see over the steering wheel to know a corner is coming - but the defense clearly showed something.  I'll need more than last night to be convinced, though.  Basically the pasting of Tennessee, for me, counts for zero.  This however is one premium performance against an excellent offense which presented matchup problems ALL OVER for Houston... but as horrific as the defense has been for the greater part of the first half, I'm going to need to see them string a few good games together before I buy in to the defense finding their legs.  They aren't going to replicate that performance again this season, but if they can be somewhere between last night and above average the rest of the season - at least against the teams that aren't great offensively, then I can buy the defense being back on track.

Andy Dalton and Sam Dyson, Protectors of America's Children:

Sam Dyson after Game 5 of the ALDS:

"He's a huge role model for the younger generation that's coming up and playing this game. He's doing stuff that kids do in whiffle ball games and backyard baseball."

"It shouldn't be done."

Andy Dalton after Monday Night Football vs. Houston:


I was fortunate enough to attend Monday Night Football in Cincinnati last night. The halftime show featured monkeys riding dogs that herded sheep into a pen at the fifty-yard line. Somehow, that was less surprising to me than the Houston Texans beating the Cincinnati Bengals. I think that pretty much says it all.

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