Welcome to Week 2 NFL Football!
Here is my take and my pick on Thursday night's matchup between the Texans and Bengals.
With an emotional week 1 start, the Houston Texans wanted to do something for the fans while most were still suffering from the damage and devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, it did not work in their favor with a monumental loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. There are injuries in every department from offensive guard, Jeff Allen, to all of the tight ends. Evan Baylis is being brought up from the practice squad to fill the tight end position. Greg Mancz is being moved from center to cover Allen's guard spot. To make matters worse, Brian Cushing just got suspended for violating the team/NFL PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) rule. Players like running back Lamar Miller, wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Braxton Miller, and Jaelen Strong are going to have to step up on the offensive side because rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson is going to get his NFL debut start. Defensively, we can only hope the team of Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt can put enough pressure on the Bengals offense to make some big plays.
There are just as many injuries on the Bengals side as well. They might be with out two cornerbacks (Dre Kirkpatrick and Josh Shaw) and a safety (Shawn Williams). Guard Tre Hopkins and defensive end Michael Johnson will definitely be sidelined with injury. The one thing the team may have going is rookie wide receiver John Ross will be debuting in his first NFL game since a knee injury sidelined him in the final pre-season game. With the fastest time at the NFL Combine, Ross was also recovering from a torn labrum. This will give quarterback Andy Dalton another target in their attempt to rebound from last week's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
MY PICK: Bengals
With all of the injuries on both teams, it is a little difficult to choose. I will give the upper hand to the Cincinnati Bengals. If they can adjust to the Texans defense like the Jaguars did, I do not see any problems with them coming away with the win.
Check in before Sunday's game for my predictions on the rest of Week 2's matchups.