CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Houston Texans are still looking for that
elusive first two-game winning streak.
While the Texans scored more points in a game than they've ever
done during their two-year history, it wasn't enough as Cincinnati
beat Houston 34-27 on Sunday.
Question on the Texans: Is Domanick Davis the most promising of the Texans' young offensive stars?
This is a tossup between Davis and quarterback David Carr. Davis has an advantage because of Carr's inability to stay healthy. He has played excellently the past few games and gives the Texans a solid running game, which is what they need for further success.
Question on the Bengals: Have Rudi Johnson's effort and performance pushed him ahead of Corey Dillon even if he's healthy?
As amazing as Johnson's performance has been, this is going to come down to ancillary factors. Johnson seems to be more of a team player and doesn't need the babysitting that Dillon seems to require. That may be the true reason why Dillon may be displaced in Cincinnati.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
"It was a winnable game and I think if we would have won this
game, it brings the whole team together, especially in the type of
game that it was where you're going back and forth," said Texans'
quarterback David Carr. "We just fell a little short."
Rookie Domanick Davis led the offense with 104 yards rushing,
including a 51-yard run in the third quarter, the longest in team
While the Texans defense held firm in last week's win over
Carolina, it couldn't stop Rudi Johnson, who set a record for the
Bengals (4-5) by running 43 times, picking up 182 yards and a pair
of second-half touchdowns.
There were four lead changes in a game of contrasting styles.
Johnson's runs kept Cincinnati moving slow-but-steady. The Texans
(3-6) repeatedly made big plays to keep it close, including a
73-yard touchdown pass from Carr to Corey Bradford -- the third
longest reception in franchise history.
Carr, who sat out last week's game with a sprained ankle, was
11-of-25 for 146 yards. Twice he overthrew Bradford after the
receiver ran past his defender, missing chances for touchdowns.
The key to the Texans' loss was not stopping Johnson, said
linebacker Steve Foley, who played the first five seasons of his
career in Cincinnati before being released this year.
"That's what killed us," he said. "We had plenty of
opportunities, but we didn't make the most of them. They did and
you saw the outcome."
Corey Dillon's unheralded backup kept the Bengals in contention
in the AFC North and feeling rather full of themselves heading into
a home game next Sunday against undefeated Kansas City.
Inactive because of a strained groin, Dillon wasn't even on the
sideline as his backup quickly won over the Bengals' smallest home
crowd of the season. The 50,437 fans chanted "Rudi! Rudi!" as he
exploited holes in one of the league's worst defenses.
"They did whatever they wanted," Texans linebacker Jay Foreman
said. "Anytime somebody runs the ball like that whenever they need
to, it's just not good defense."
Unlike Chad Johnson, the Bengals' receiver who guaranteed last
season's lopsided win by Cincinnati over Houston, Rudi kept his
mouth shut and kept the celebrations simple. He simply flipped the
ball to the official after his 17-yard touchdown run in the third
He quickly headed to the bench after a 1-yard touchdown run put
the Bengals ahead to stay 31-27 early in the fourth quarter.
Johnson's 182 yards rushing matched Jon Kitna's passing total.
"The way the game was going, I felt 10 times better," said
Rudi Johnson, who also topped 100 yards as Dillon's fill-in two
weeks ago. "I knew I was doing something right and making things
He surpassed Dillon's team record of 39 carries in a game in
1997 against Tennessee, when Dillon topped Jim Brown's rookie
rushing record of 246 yards.
The Texans had one last chance after Shayne Graham's 40-yard
field goal made it 34-27 with 2:32 to go. David Carr's next pass
was tipped and intercepted, ending the drama but not the torment.
Instead of kicking a field goal with 32 seconds left to pad the
lead to 10 points, the Bengals went on fourth down from the 13-yard
line. Kitna changed to a pass play, then threw to Chad Johnson, who
slid into the end zone and jumped into the seats in a celebration
that had to rankle the Texans.
However, the officials ruled Johnson down at the 1, and Kitna
went to his knee after taking the next snap.
Houston's J.J. Moses had seven kickoff returns for 186
yards, and had a 47-yard punt return wiped out by penalty. ... The
27 points were the most ever scored by the Texans. The previous
high was 24. ... Davis had 104 yards on 15 carries, his third
100-yard game in his last four. ... Despite coach Marvin Lewis'
week of lobbying for fans to show up, the Bengals had 15,000 empty
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