After being shutout in their season debut, the Cincinnati Bengals are looking to save face in Week 2. Here’s four things to keep in mind going into their primetime matchup Thursday against the Houston Texans.
Little time to prepare
One frustrating thing about Thursday Night Football is that it springs up on people. Teams playing on the previous Sunday get little time to truly prepare for it. This is the case for the Bengals and Texans; both walking into this game just four days after their last one. Now in sports like Baseball, Basketball or Hockey this wouldn’t be a big deal. Since teams in those sports play multiple games in one week.
Football teams operate in the rhythm of typically having six days between games. Both teams are going into Week 2 working outside of that familiar rhythm this week. It will be interesting to see how this impacts both teams on Thursday.
A test of Marvin Lewis’ leadership
There’s an interesting situation unfolding right now on the Cincinnati sports scene. Both of it’s major professional sports teams coaches are on the hot seat. In his 15th season as the Bengals head coach, fans have effectively just one demand of Marvin Lewis. To guide the Bengals to their first playoff win in decades. After a dismal Week 1 performance, the public’s discontent with Lewis is growing. If the Bengals lose on Thursday that sense of discontent is set to grow further.
Another Bengal on the hot seat after Week 1 is quarterback Andy Dalton. After directly giving up four of the Bengals five turnovers on Sunday. Those turnovers made the Bengals offense ineffective. An offense that was better than the final score on Sunday would suggest. Obviously, avoiding turnovers will be vital for Dalton on Thursday night.
One of the few quarterbacks that looked as bad as Dalton was the Texans Week 1 starter Tom Savage. As a result of Savage’s season debut, the Texans will have rookie QB Deshaun Watson start on Thursday. Depending on how he does, the Bengals defense could be in for a challenging night. Watson didn’t have a fantastic start either, throwing an interception and getting sacked four times. Plus he ended Sunday with an ankle injury, but unlike Dalton or Savage, his team scored a touchdown with him under center.
What impact will Adam Jones have?
Adam Jones will be making his season debut on Thursday night. Returning after serving a one game suspension last week. Jones absence was needed on Sunday against the Ravens, especially in the second quarter. With his return on Thursday, it will be interesting to see how effective he is against the Texans.
The Bengals and Texans face off at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium Thursday at 8:25 PM Eastern. The game can be seen on NFL Network and in Cincinnati on WLWT-TV 5.