The Houston Texans faced the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 12 in Week 10 of the 2023 NFL season. Here are takeaways and highlights from the game.
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Final Score: Texans 30, Bengals 27
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud entered this game with a lot of national attention. The former Ohio State Buckeye has been playing at an All-Pro level as a rookie. He broke the single-game rookie record for passing yards one week earlier in a thrilling win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his Texans still weren’t favored to beat the Bengals. Cincinnati itself was coming off two wins against top teams and sought to keep that momentum versus the upstart quarterback. Stroud and the Houston defense spoiled that party.
There isn’t enough that can be said about how well Stroud is playing for Houston. On Sunday, he hit every throw you want to see your franchise quarterback make. The rookie finished 23 of 39 for 356 yards, one touchdown, and one interception versus a very good Bengals defense.
Former Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary put in a career effort on the ground, rushing 30 times for 150 yards and a score himself. The Bengals’ defense literally did not have an answer for Singletary, Stroud and the Houston offense. They caused him to stumble a little early on, but with adjustments, he continued to play at an MVP level.
A new development in this Texans squad is their defense. Head Coach Demeco Ryans was a former Texans linebacker himself and defense coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, so it’s in his wheelhouse. His defense flew to the ball Sunday the same way the 49ers defense did last year. Joe Burrow went 27 of 40 for 347 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. The Texans’ defense totaled 27 pressures, accumulating four sacks and 19 quarterback hurries.
The Bengals were without wideout Tee Higgins on Sunday. Tyler Boyd had a key drop in the end zone that could have put the Bengals in the lead late. The Texans enjoyed the return of former third overall draft pick Derek Stingley Jr., who will look to elevate this defense, along with lineman Sheldon Rankins and linebacker Christian Harris, going forward.
This play didn't count, but this was a jaw-dropping effort by CJ Stroud. pic.twitter.com/InXwD94XI0
— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) November 13, 2023
This Noah Brown run after the catch is something.
The Bengals literally ripped the glove off his hand but couldn't bring him down. pic.twitter.com/L2Od8sJlVu
— Jeremy Branham (@JeremyBranham) November 13, 2023
Sheldon Rankins had himself a DAY against the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/3DWooyIxVQ
— mike (@bengals_sans) November 13, 2023
This was the least expected outcome for this game: the upstart Texans taking down a Super Bowl-caliber Bengals team. If you didn’t catch this game live, it’s truly worth the replay wherever you can find it. NFL Network should have this game up over the summer on repeat. It was a classic, entertaining football game in every sense.
The Bengals may have won this matchup with Higgins. However, they also need to look at their future if they decide not to re-sign the former Clemson Tiger this offseason. Cincinnati will have to quickly forget this one and get ready for a very hot Ravens team on Thursday night.
For the Texans, a win like this will completely change the level of confidence this team has. There’s something truly special brewing in Texas. They have notable matchups against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, and New York Jets remaining on their schedule.
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