How bad was the first quarter of Thursday night’s game?
The teams had combined for two first downs, 60 yards, five penalties, five punts and one turnover in the first 14 minutes before Andy Dalton threw up a prayer to A.J. Green, which he caught for a 50-yard gain on the next-to-last play of the quarter.
The punts and the turnover created the biggest excitement besides Green’s catch.
Adam Jones had a 33-yard punt return, nearly breaking it with Dylan Cole making a saving tackle. Later, Alex Erickson had a punt return for 26 yards after he bounced off the biceps of Brennan Scarlett.
But the Bengals wasted Erickson’s return when rookie receiver John Ross, in the first touch of his career, fumbled at the end of a 12-yard run as Kareem Jackson caused it and Jadeveon Clowney returned it 49 yards. Dalton made a touchdown-saving tackle at the Cincinnati 20, and the Texans ended up kicking a field goal for a 3-0 lead.