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Open Thread part 2: Houston Texans (2-3) 14 at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) 17

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"Touchdown, Laveranues Coles!" exclaimed jsl413. "Oh, and a PAT too!" It was 2:21 Eastern Standard Time, and the Bengals, despite shooting themselves in the foot and losing arguably two of their best defensive players in the first half have clawed their way back into this one. Houston made some plays before the half, but did not get close enough to score. Then, Schaub was like, "I'm gonna throw an interception to Chris Crocker." Crocker continued to return it to the Houston 41. Pass over the middle to Coats for 8 yards (fumbles after he hits the ground) and a time out. 3 seconds, 49 yard field goal. It's up! It's so, so good (probably from 55+)! I think it had to be something in Shayne's head, with BSL.

Let's take a look at the first half as we try to understand what's happened so far.

  1. Neither team is doing much in the way of stopping the other team, but the Bengals defense seemed to step up at the end of the second quarter with a few nice stops. Statistically, I think Palmer is playing his best game of the year. He's connected with Chad deep, and he's found Caldwell a few times for big conversions. He's 13/19 for 182 yards, completing about 68% of his passes for almost 9  yards per attempt. Schaub, meanwhile, has gaudy numbers but has not been all that great (from what I can tell). Over 100 of his passing yards have come off of catch-and-runs to the excellent Houston skill players.
  2. I think Hall has played a decent game against Johnson. He should have caught that ball earlier. For Houston, DeMeco Ryans has been everywhere. We should stop running at him.
  3. I just saw the Bengals touchdowns. Cedric Benson is good, and that was some kind of catch from Coles in the back of the end zone.
  4. Things I want to see improve in the second half: the running game, primarily. We will have to keep Houston honest in the second half, and that can be helped by establishing a legitimate running game. I think we've been OK on defense, it's been turning around, but we'll see if the Bengals coaching staff decides to make any adjustments this week. Also, we have to stop the drive-killing penalties. They're making me sad.

Team stats that I think are important:

Time of Posession: CIN - 15:51, HOU - 14:09
Yards: CIN - 218, HOU - 238
PENALTIES, penalties, penalties! CIN - 3 (30), HOU - 1 (5)

Enjoy the second half!