'Thursday Night Football' tonight: Color Rush, streaming, TV, why Bengals will win
The Texans could be in 'must-win' mode after Thursday's matchup against the Bengals
The Bengals and Texans gave us two of the worst Week 1 performances in the league,and it wasn't even close. Cincinnati was blanked at home, 20-0, by the Ravens, and Houston was manhandled at home by the Jaguars. Let that sink in for a moment.
How bad was it? Dalton had five turnovers -- including four interceptions -- and Tom Savage lasted two quarters before he was unceremoniously yanked for rookie Deshaun Watson. And according to Football Outsiders' weekly rankings, the Texans are 26th while the Bengals are 31st, ahead of only the rudderless Colts.
Not exactly how you want to start the season.
The good news is that four months of football remain and there's plenty of time to fix all that ails these outfits. The bad news is that no amount of praying will magically make the Texans' offensive line a competent unit, which spells doom for Savage, Watson and any other poor soul tasked with trying to play quarterback.
So even though the Bengals couldn't find their way onto the scoreboard, we like them to beat the Texans on Thursday night.
Our prediction: Bengals 13, Texans 10
How to watch, stream
Daytime Dalton is improving
It's hard to explain exactly why Dalton's Week 1 performance resembled one usually reserved for a national-television audience, but here we are. We're now at the point where Dalton's travails on the biggest stage have become slightly overblown, but since this game will be for a national audience we're compelled to look back at how different Dalton is when the sun is overhead and the coverage is regional.
The bad news:
Primetime record: 5-10-1
Daytime record: 51-25-2
Playoff record for Dalton: 0-4
The good news: After four straight playoff losses in his first four NFL seasons, Dalton hasn't been the primary reason for the Bengals' struggles when the games matter most. He had arguably his best year in 2015 before a late-season thumb injury ended his season (going 1-1 in national games). And in four national games last season, Dalton threw for more than 1,000 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions (OK, those aren't Hall of Fame numbers, but a replacement-level performance is a huge improvement). Even with Dalton playing better, Bengals still underperformed, going 1-2-1.
We've seen this Texans' quarterback carousel before
Two years ago, Texans coach Bill O'Brien named Brian Hoyer his starter. That lasted a little more than three quarters until O'Brien Hoyer for Ryan Mallett. By mid-October, Mallett had played his way out of a job and . So it was no surprise when O'Brian named Savage the Texans' starter during the preseason and then, 30 minutes into the regular-season opener, gave him the Hoyer treatment.
Watson, the team's 2017 first-round pick, will be under center on Thursday night, and he will join the Browns' DeShone Kizer as the only two rookie quarterbacks to start. And while we all know why the Texans drafted Watson, should Savage have been yanked after just two quarters?
Put another way: What's O'Brien doing? We saw this to start the 2015 season and it's happened again. O'Brien is a quarterbacks coach -- that was one of the reasons he was hired in Houston. But his inability to stick to a decision about the most important player on the field makes you wonder what he's been looking at for the last six weeks.
But the issue isn't so much Savage, NFL quarterback. Rather it's the Texans' inability to protect whomever's under center. Yes, Savage was sacked a whopping six times, but Watson went down four times too. There are bigger problems here, ones that won't go away just because you change the guy calling the plays in the huddle. Unless Watson can implore his offensive line to block in ways that Savage couldn't, the offense will continue to sputter and the Texans will continue to lose.
It's Color Rush Thursday, y'all!
That's right, Color Rush returns with the Texans-Bengals matchup.
Just like last season, Color Rush will be a Thursday Night Football staple. In the meantime, here is every team's Color Rush uniform from 2016.
AFC Color Rush
NFC Color Rush
Thursday night TV schedule
- Week 2: Texans at Bengals, Sept. 14 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NFL Network
- Week 3: Rams at 49ers, Sept. 21 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NFL Network
- Week 4: Bears at Packers, Sept. 28 at 8:25 p.m. ET on CBS and NFLN
- Week 5: Patriots at Buccaneers, Oct. 5 at 8:25 p.m. ET on CBS and NFLN
- Week 6: Eagles at Panthers, Oct. 12 at 8:25 p.m. ET on CBS and NFLN
- Week 7: Chiefs at Raiders, Oct. 19 at 8:25 p.m. ET on CBS and NFLN
- Week 8: Dolphins at Ravens, Oct. 26 at 8:25 p.m. ET on CBS and NFLN
- Week 9: Bills at Jets, Nov. 2 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NFL Network
- Week 10: Seahawks at Cardinals, Nov. 9 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
- Week 11: Titans at Steelers, Nov. 16 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
- Week 12: Giants at Redskins, Nov. 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC
- Week 13: Redskins at Cowboys, Nov. 30 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
- Week 14: Saints at Falcons, Dec. 7 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
- Week 15: Broncos at Colts, Dec. 14 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
'TNF' comes to Amazon
After Twitter hosted several "Thursday Night Football" games during the 2016 for live streaming, it lost a bid for the NFL's 2017 streaming package to Amazon, which will stream 10 Thursday night games during the season as well as a Christmas Day game in Week 16 for Amazon Prime members. You can read more about Amazon's deal here.
Here are the games available for streaming from Amazon:
- Week 4: Bears at Packers, Sept. 28 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 5: Patriots at Buccaneers, Oct. 5 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 6: Eagles at Panthers, Oct. 12 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 7: Chiefs at Raiders, Oct. 19 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 8: Dolphins at Ravens, Oct. 26 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 10: Seahawks at Cardinals, Nov. 9 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 11: Titans at Steelers, Nov. 16 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 13: Redskins at Cowboys, Nov. 30 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 14: Saints at Falcons, Dec. 7 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 15: Broncos at Colts, Dec. 14 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 16: Steelers at Texans, Dec. 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET
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