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Bengals Bytes (9/15): Frustration boiling over

Several Bengals’ players voiced their frustrations with the offense after the Bengals loss to the Texans on Thursday Night Football. Andy Dalton’s job is safe for now. Adrian Peterson didn’t sign up for 9 snaps.

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NFL: Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Absolute zero frustrates Green and his offense
The Bengals’ frustration is at historic levels after Thursday night’s 13-9 loss at Paul Brown Stadium to the Texans has put their season in jeopardy and their offense in the record books. And none are more frustrated than six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green. While the Texans had absolutely no tight ends around wide receiver Deandre Hopkins and no receivers of note, their rookie quarterback threw the ball to him 13 times, seven times in the final killing drive that left just 1:58 on the clock and no hope.

Texans at Bengals Postgame Quotes
It’s difficult to win many games when we don’t score touchdowns. I think today with the defensive side of the ball, they had an opportunity to control the game. Then we let them have the one score, then later on the field goal — the drive for the field goal there in the fourth quarter. Those are big differences in the football game. It makes a difference whether we are playing for a touchdown or a field goal in the end.

TDBH: Home Sweet Home as Bengals win first home game in history
The Nippert Stadium crowd of 25,049 at the University of Cincinnati greets the Bengals’ first regular-season home game and first victory in history with the seasoning of a fan base that has had pro football forever. They serenade quarterback John Stofa with boos when he returns to the field from a 0-0 halftime and chant for head coach Paul Brown to go for it on fourth-and-one with 8:50 left in a 10-10 game. The Bengals win a skin-of-the-teeth mark on fullback Tom Smiley’s plunge that the refs measure twice to verify the first down before sending Denver coach Lou Saban ballistic. There is chaos, so Brown says, the Bengals “ boom it,” on the next play and Stofa hits rookie wide receiver Warren McVea for a 54-yard bomb on a go route for a touchdown and they keep going for a 24-10 victory over the incensed Broncos.

Top 50 Moments: Corey Dillon Sets Rookie Rushing Record
The only thing missing in this Thursday night ESPN game at the river on Dec. 4, 1997 is the throwback jersey. In the third start of his reunion tour, 36-year-old quarterback Boomer Esiason dissects the Oilers' eight-man front so precisely that running back Corey Dillon breaks Jim Brown's 40-year-old rookie rushing record with 246 yards that sends the Elias Sports Bureau head over heels in commas and decimal points during the Bengals 41-14 victory.

Cincinnati Bengals stumble to 0-2 and still haven't scored a touchdown
Late in the second quarter of the Cincinnati Bengals' 13-9 loss to the Houston Texans, someone in the Paul Brown Stadium press box yelled out a question. “Who was Andy even trying to throw to there?” Nobody around seemed to have the answer.

Takeaways: Texans top Bengals in Watson's first start
So many of the best moments in Houston Texans franchise history have come against the Cincinnati Bengals. Add quarterback Deshaun Watson's first NFL victory to the list. Watson rushed for a 49-yard touchdown in the first half and helped the seal the team's 13-9 victory with a clock-chewing field-goal drive in the fourth quarter. The Texans' offense was rarely pretty, but avoiding an 0-2 start is a beautiful thing for a team that has been through so much over the last three weeks since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. Here's what we learned Thursday night

With no touchdowns, Bengals can join some ugly company next week
Through two games of the season, the Cincinnati Bengals have still not scored a touchdown: The Bengals got shut out to start the season with a 20-0 loss to the Ravens, then they managed only field goals in last night’s 13-9 loss to the Texans. That’s bad, but it’s not that unusual. Quite a few teams have failed to find the end zone in the first two games of the season. Just last year the Rams didn’t have any touchdowns in their first two games.

Bengals voice frustration in 0-2 start, lack of offense
Being 0-2 is one thing. Being 0-2 without scoring a single touchdown in those two games? That's bad. Plenty of Cincinnati Bengals took to the media after their 13-9 loss to the Houston Texans on Thursday night to vent their frustrations with the team's lack of wins, and, more specifically, the lack of offense. "I am shocked. Yes I am," coach Marvin Lewis said of his offense's performance through the first two weeks of the season so far, via the team's official website. "We should be better."

Texans win ugly in Deshaun Watson's first start
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was bad. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was bad. But Watson made one play. The positive spin: It was a fantastic play. It wasn’t quite worth NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin stealing Dabo Swinney’s comment and yelling repeatedly that Watson was Michael Jordan, but Watson’s 49-yard touchdown run was good. He escaped the pocket, outran a tackle near the line and then worked his way through the secondary to score. And in an ugly game, that was the only touchdown in the Texans’ 13-9 win over the Bengals.

Marvin Lewis: Andy Dalton's starting job is secure
Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals couldn't have had a worse start to the 2017 season. Through two weeks, and two home losses, Dalton's Bengals have failed to score a touchdown. Cincinnati is the first team since the 1939 Eagles to play the first two games of a season at home and score zero touchdowns in both games.

A.J. Green says Bengals “need a spark and need the ball in my hands somewhere, somehow”
After a second game in a row to the start the season without a touchdown, frustrations are obviously growing for the Cincinnati Bengals. In addition to cornerback Dre Fitzpatrick proclaiming “we suck,” wide receiver A.J. Green didn’t mince words either regarding the team’s anemic start to the season.

Doc: Bengals can't be shy now
It was five past 12 Friday morning when Andy Dalton strode from the nearly empty Bengals locker room to face the media. The hour was fitting, because already, the clock is pounding midnight on the Bengals season. It’s getting late early. It really is. You can’t say the season is unraveling for the Bengals, not when it hasn’t even had time to ravel. What you can say is that two losses at home to two very beatable visitors – and a game at Green Bay a week from Sunday – has Cincinnati’s 2017 season on life support. Already.

AFC North Bytes

Baltimore Ravens can match 72-year-old feat with another shutout
Strong safety Tony Jefferson was asked how does the Baltimore Ravens defense follow up a shutout in the season opener. "Do it again," Jefferson said. If the Ravens shut out the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, their defense will match a 72-year-old feat. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the last time an NFL team delivered shutouts in its first two games was Cleveland in 1945. That is, the Cleveland Rams.

Next challenge for Browns rookie QB Kizer: Ravens defense
In his NFL debut, Cleveland quarterback DeShone Kizer went up against the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose reputation for playing rugged defense began long before the Browns rookie was born. Having survived that test, Kizer on Sunday will face the Baltimore Ravens, whose similarly renowned defense opened the season by forcing five turnovers in a 20-0 rout of Cincinnati.

Steelers News: Can Todd Haley keep all the offensive stars happy?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a legitimate offense—no one is debating that. But several, including myself, have wondered if there’s enough love in the world for Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant to all be happy. Sure, the players will talk about how, if they’re winning, they’re happy, but everyone still wants his yards and touches. This will come down to decisions made by Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley, but should this even be a talking point?

Random Bytes

Alex Smith knows he'll likely play elsewhere next year
Alex Smith started off the season by torching the New England Patriots. The Chiefs hope the barrage of big plays from their starting quarterback is the harbinger of a monster season, likely the QB's final in Kansas City. After K.C. brass traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes in the first round, Smith knew the score. The 33-year-old quarterback said before the season during an interview on In Depth with Graham Bensinger, he understands the expectation is that he'll be playing elsewhere next year. Smith added that's how he's always operated.

Marshawn Lynch Reportedly Fined $12K for Middle Finger Gesture
The NFL reportedly fined Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch $12,000 Thursday. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the news, noting the fine was "for a hand gesture he made Sunday" in Oakland's 26-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Adrian Peterson Says After Saints Debut He 'Didn't Sign Up for 9 Snaps'
New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson commented on his low usage in his team's 29-19 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday. "I didn't sign up for nine snaps, though, but unfortunately that's the way the game played out," Peterson said Thursday, per USA Today's Kevin Spain. "In my mind, personally, I knew it was gonna take some adjusting. You know, me and Mark [Ingram] played in the last preseason game, and [Alvin Kamara] didn't even play that game. So with all three of us being out there, I knew it would take a game or so to kind of get adjusted."