Texans 10

(0-3, 0-2 away)

Bengals 16

(4-0, 2-0 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 2, 2005


1 2 3 4 T
HOU 0 3 7 010
CIN 3 7 0 616

Top Performers

Passing: C. Palmer (CIN) - 276 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: R. Johnson (CIN) - 19 CAR, 88 YDS

Receiving: T. Houshmandzadeh (CIN) - 8 REC, 105 YDS

Bengals 4-0 after defeating Texans 16-10

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Houston Texans had a new offensive coordinator and a new belief they could score more than one touchdown a game.

It was over when ...
Shayne Graham's 27-yard field goal with 5:04 left broke a 10-all tie, and David Carr's fumble with 3:14 sent the Texans to their first 0-3 start in four seasons as an expansion team.
Game ball goes to ...
Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who provided most of Cincinnati's otherwise sluggish offense with 105 yards on eight catches.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen I'm not sure where the Texans offense can go from here after making the switch from offensive coordinator Chris Palmer to Joe Pendry. They made some adjustments in practice, but it obviously wasn't enough. It's amazing how often a team's success is predicated on consistency and confidence and right now the Texans don't have either one.
-- Eric Allen

But it was the same old story on Sunday as the Texans lost 16-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals.

While the Texans' offense ran smoother under new offensive coordinator Joe Pendry, it could only muster a touchdown and field goal.

The loss has the Texans at 0-3 for the first time since they began playing four years ago. The Bengals improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1988 -- the last time they made the Super Bowl.

Texans quarterback David Carr had another tough outing, going 17-of-26 for 174 yards with seven sacks.

"I thought our guys played with some passion," Carr said. "They really wanted to win this football game. That's why it hurts. But we'll be fine. I think our guys were full of confidence out there through the entire game. We just came up a little short."

Texans Coach Dom Capers said his team accomplished its goal of taking the game into the fourth quarter.

"I thought we looked more like a team today," he said. "We had a little rhythm at times but we still made some errors that knocked us out of sync."

The Texans defense held Cincinnati to one touchdown and the team didn't commit a turnover until late in the fourth quarter.

Carr was hit by Justin Smith with 3:14 in the game while his arm was cocked, and the ball slipped out of his hand as he started an awkward throwing motion. John Thornton fell on the ball, and referee Larry Nemmers upheld the call on review, costing the Texans their final timeout.

Carr still disputes the call.

"The only thing I can say about it is I was throwing the football, really," he said. "We can go back and forth with the referees, and we can get into all that but all I can do is what I try and do, which is try to throw it forward."

His teammates also thought his arm was going forward, meaning it would have been an incomplete pass.

"We all thought it was going to be overturned," right tackle Todd Wade said. "That's why we stayed on the field. Apparently, they saw it otherwise."

The Bengals didn't come unscathed from the game.

Centers Rich Braham and Larry Moore went down with knee injuries in the second quarter, forcing guard Eric Steinbach to peel off his blocking gloves and snap the ball for the first time. The offense was out of sync while it adjusted to a major line shuffle, and never moved the ball consistently because of penalties.

The Bengals had 14 penalties for 117 yards -- one of them wiped out T.J. Houshmandzadeh's touchdown catch.

But they absorbed the penalties, shuffled the line and gritted it out.

"Everybody was going with some type of injury," said Willie Anderson, a Pro Bowl right tackle who threw his back out before the kickoff and hurt his nose during the game. "That's the type of character this team has now."

Houshmandzadeh, who refuses to dance after a touchdown, kept the Bengals in their best start since the days of the Ickey Shuffle. He caught eight passes for 105 yards, steadying an offense that had to grind it out for the first time all season.

Shayne Graham's 27-yard field goal with 5:04 left broke a 10-all tie.

Taking advantage of Carr's fumble, Graham kicked another field goal from 46 yards. Six plays later, Carr was sacked on what was supposed to be a desperation throw from midfield as time ran out.

"We had some dumb mistakes," said Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, who went 25-of-34 for 276 yards and a touchdown. "We're not always perfect."

Houshmandzadeh kept the offense moving on a day when the Texans made sure that his showy teammate, Chad Johnson, didn't score and thus wouldn't dance in the end zone. Johnson did a jig after his touchdown a week earlier and promised a new end zone celebration against the Texans.

"It was a tough game," Houshmandzadeh said. "But hey, we're winning, man. I'm happy about that, just to be 4-0."

Game notes

FB Moran Norris' 4-yard catch in the third quarter was the first touchdown in his five-year career. ... Carr has been sacked 20 times in three games. He was sacked an NFL-record 76 times as a rookie in 2002. ... CB Phillip Buchanon, who lost his starting job during the bye week, took turns with Demarcus Faggins covering Johnson. ... Braham was listed as questionable for next week, and Moore is likely out. ... Steinbach had played center only once before -- during a spring game at Iowa. ... Anderson, who had to leave last week's game with spasms in his back, said it locked up again during the game, requiring treatment. He made his 84th consecutive start.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1822
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays5661
Total Yards254371
Yards per play4.56.1
Total Drives87
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-20-4
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

cinFG4:37Shayne Graham 16 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 17 plays, 84 yds, 7:52
houFG13:35Kris Brown 20 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 43 yds, 9:06
cinTD1:14Jeremi Johnson, 1 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 85 yds, 3:53
houTD7:45Moran Norris, 4 yd pass from David Carr (Kris Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 90 yds, 5:27
cinFG5:07Shayne Graham 19 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 60 yds, 7:31
cinFG1:15Shayne Graham 38 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 7 yds, 1:59