There are some deep connections between the Bengals and Texans, and it's not entirely about the helmet-clashing history over the years -- games dominated by Houston, who has won five straight since Cincinnati's 16-10 win at Paul Brown Stadium in 2005.
History is deep. Cincinnati and Houston have been meeting with each other since Nov. 3 1968, when the Oilers won 27-17, at Nippert Stadium during Cincinnati's inaugural season. Despite having two organizations throughout its NFL history, Houston is 36-34-1 against the Bengals. However the Texans are 5-3 with an undefeated postseason record when hosting the Bengals in Houston ('11 and '12).
Former Bengals players, like Andy Dalton and George Iloka, are playing in front of their hometown crowds. Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall will reunite once again and Joseph will see his former defensive backs coach, Vance Joseph.
"It was really fun to coach him," said Vance Joseph via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "When we got him he was on the verge of becoming a great player and he took those steps and became a great player. He worked every day. He was a confident player and he listened well."
Joseph left Cincinnati after the 2010 season, signing a five-year deal worth $48.75 million with $23.5 million guaranteed. About 35 days later, the Bengals signed Leon Hall to a five-year extension worth $42.375 million with $14.1 million guaranteed. Both were graded as Cincinnati's best defensive players in 2009, and it wasn't even close. Pro Football Focus graded Hall with an overall score of +21.3 and Joseph at +17.3.
Joseph has played three games against Cincinnati since signing with Houston, recording two interceptions (one in each playoff game) while holding Andy Dalton to a passer rating of 47.6 when targeting Joseph's assignments.
Now at 30 years old, age hasn't impacted him much.
"He's a smart player," said head coach Marin Lewis. "He's played a lot of football, so he does a good job of reading routes and breaking on certain things. He’s another guy you've got to feel and see where he’s’ at, because he’s got a good feel for the game."
"The game is slower to you, you understand the way other teams are trying to attack you, you understand the job you have first and foremost," Joseph said via the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"You have the mental makeup, not everyone can play the position. At that position, some games are going to be better than others. You have to have a mental makeup where you can block everything else out outside and focus on the job at hand. You can't have a guy who goes out there and makes a great play and gets beat the next play and then he goes into the tank. You have to have someone with the mental makeup that can battle all game, each and every game."
Bengals players from Houston (and Texas)
- Quarterback Andy Dalton is from Greater Houston -- Katy, Texas and Katy High School.
- Safety George Iloka is from Houston and played high school at Kempner.
- OG Trey Hopkins (on IR) is from Houston (North Shore High School) and played at the University of Texas.
- Linebacker Sean Porter (IR) is from Schertz, Texas.
- Defensive tackle David King (PS) is from Houston -- Strake Jesuit Prep high school.
- Wide receiver Tevin Reese (PS) is from Temple, Texas.
- Running backs coach Kyle Caskey is from Daingerfield, Texas and played tight end at Texas A&M ('97-'98).
- Running back Rex Burkhead is from Plano, Texas.
- Margus Hunt attended and played at SMU.
- Tackle Marshall Newhouse played at TCU and is from Dallas, Texas.
Former Bengals and now Texans
- Cornerback Johnathan Joseph played five season with the Bengals ('06-'10).
- Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played for the Bengals for two years ('07-'08).
- Safety Danieal Manning played for the Bengals during the '14 preseason.
- Defensive line coach Bill Kollar played for the Bengals ('74-76).
Former Texans and now Bengals
- Long-snapper Clark Harris played for the Texans in '08 and briefly in '09.
- Defensive end Sam Montgomery (PS) was a third-round pick of the Texans during the 2013 NFL draft.
- Defensive backs coach Vance Joseph coached for the Texans ('11-'13).
Texans with connections in the Greater Cincinnati region (and Ohio)
- Wide receiver Devier Posey played at La Salle high school and the Ohio State University.
- Texans nose tackle Ryan Pickett and OLB John Simon played at the Ohio State University.
- Guard Brandon Brooks played at Miami (Ohio) University.
- Guard Cody White (IR) is from Columbus, Ohio.
- Guard Alex Kupper (PS) is from Louisville, Kentucky and played at the University of Louisville.
- Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel played at Western Kentucky ('66-69) and coached there ('70-74).
- Offensive line coach Paul Dunn coached for the University of Cincinnati ('94-95).
- Linebackers coach Mike Vrabel played at the Ohio State University ('93-96) and coached there ('11-13).
- Linebacker Whitney Mercilus is from Akron.