With "Steelers Week, Round Two" in full swing, most Bengal fans aren't looking ahead to next week's matchup against the Houston Texans. The atmosphere surrounding this game has changed drastically over the past few weeks. At first glance, this game didn't seem like a winnable one for the Bengals. The last time these two teams faced off was in 2009 and the Texans beat the Bengals handily in Cincinnati. But, with recent developments surrounding Houston, this game has appeared a bit more winnable than initially expected.
In case you haven't heard, the Texans lost their starting quarterback, Matt Schaub, for the season with a foot injury. This was a big injury for the team because they already had lost their best defensive player, Mario Williams for the year and wide receiver Andre Johnson has been nursing a hamstring injury for the past several weeks. On top of that, the Texans had a pretty good hold on the AFC South division with the inconsistent Tennessee Titans and struggling Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars. With the injury to Schaub, the Texans looked to Matt Leinart to lead them to the playoffs for the first time since the team's inception in 2002.
After a bye week following the announcement of Schaub's injury, Leinart took the field last week and ended up breaking his collarbone on a hit that he took. He had been playing well to that point, but unfortunately, that injury ended his season and the Texans then had to turn to the unproven T.J. Yates. Somehow, through all of this, the Texans ended up pulling out the victory.
With all of the uncertainty around the quarterback position in Houston, the team decided to sign veteran Jake Delhomme. It's a smart move for the Texans, who are looking for some stability at the position. With Delhomme, they've signed a hard worker that's had some success in the league. He led the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance and had two other playoff appearances. Delhomme didn't have the measure of success in his last stop in Cleveland, however, and hasn't had a job this season.
What does this mean for the Bengals? In one career game against the Bengals in the 2006 season, he had 20 completions on 34 attempts for a 58.8 percent completion percentage. He threw two touchdowns and one interception in a loss as quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. He was pulled as the starter of the Cleveland Browns in 2010 before the teams faced off.
The above-mentioned stats don't mean that we should expect Delhomme to start against the Bengals on December 11th. He definitely could start, but the move also follows the signing of Kellen Clemens to Houston as well. It's unclear who is going to get the start this week for the Texans, as it's been projected that it'll be hashed out in practice the next couple of weeks. But, the Texans have seemed to make the best of a really bad hand they've been dealt.