In his first career NFL start, Deshaun Watson led the Texans to a 13-9 road win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.
Watson, celebrating his 22nd birthday, scored the lone touchdown in the win. The rookie quarterback completed 15-of-24 pases for 125 yards and added 67 yards on the ground, including and a 49-yard touchdown run.
The Texans offense, dealing with multiple injuries heading into the short week, were without all three tight ends, starting right guard Jeff Allen and wide receiver Bruce Ellington. DeAndre Hopkins had a team-high seven receptions for 73 yards. Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman combined for 30 carries and 101 yards rushing.
Houston's defense recorded three sacks, including two by Benardrick McKinney, four quarterback hits, three passes defensed and one turnover in the win. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was 19-of-34 for 216 yards and no touchdowns. Houston held the Bengals to just 82 yards net rushing. Johnathan Joseph and Kevin Johnson both left the game early with injuries and did not return to the game.
The Texans took an early 3-0 lead when Jadeveon Clowney returned a fumble recovery 49 yards. Kareem Jackson's hit on wide receiver John Ross led to the fumble at Houston's 32-yard line. Ka'imi Fairbarn successfully added a 26-yard field goal late in the first quarter.
Watson scrambled for a 49-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Watson's gain was the longest rush by a quarterback in Texans franchise history. Watson's touchdown capped off a nine-play, 94-yard scoring drive to give Houston a 10-3 lead with 0:50 remaining in the first half.
Randy Bullock kicked two field goals in the first half. His second kick, from 29 yards, came with just 0:02 left in the second quarter. The Bengals trailed 10-6 at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter for Houston, Watson and the Texans offense orchestrated a scoring drive that began at their own 10-yard line. Hopkins caught three passes for 29 yards while Lamar Miller added a 19-yard run. Watson's 11-yard gain on third down set up a 42-yard field goal by Fairbairn. The Texans extended their lead 13-9 with 2:00 left in the fourth quarter.
With the win, the Texans improve to 1-1 on the season and will travel to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Patriots in Week 3.
The Texans faced the Bengals in Cincinnati on Thursday Night Football.