Night net CINCINNATI — T.J. Yates took the podium before J.J. Watt, which prompted a wide smile from the Texans’ star defensive end when they crossed p
Read More

T.J. Yates remembers how to beat Bengals


T.J. Yates remembers how to beat Bengals

Night net CINCINNATI — T.J. Yates took the podium before J.J. Watt, which prompted a wide smile from the Texans’ star defensive end when they crossed paths.Yates had just explained his pinch-hit performance in place of quarterback Brian Hoyer, who left with a concussion, in a 10-6 win against the previously unbeaten Bengals. MORE: Top photos from Week 10 | Watt, Dalton snipe after game“It feels like 2011 in here,” Watt said to Yates with a smile.  Yates and Watt were rookie teammates then, when Yates hit Kevin Walter for a 6-yard TD with two seconds remaining to give Houston a 20-19 victory at Paul Brown Stadium. Less than a month after that, Yates led the Texans to a 31-10 win against the Bengals in an AFC wild-card game at Houston. Related News Best photos from Night net Week 10

Back in Cincinnati on Monday, Yates, whom the Texans signed on Oct. 28 after Ryan Mallett was released, led a game-winning drive early in the fourth quarter.MORE: Yates gets better of Dalton again | Five things we learned from Houston's win“I think every time we come to this stadium we should have him be our quarterback,” Watt said. “He seems to have a pretty good game no matter the situation here. I don’t know if it’s the sound system, the lights or the locker room, but T.J. knows what he’s doing when he plays in Cincinnati.”This time, Yates haunted the Bengals (8-1) with a nine-play, 79-yard drive that didn’t start out so well. Yates asked reporters three times if they saw his first pass, an incompletion to Ryan Griffin.That’s OK. Yates hit Griffin on a sideline route on third-and-13 to push the ball to the Cincinnati 22-yard line six plays later. Two plays after that, Yates lofted a fade to DeAndre Hopkins, who reeled in the TD with a leaping one-handed grab over Cincinnati’s Adam “Pacman” Jones. That provided the final margin.“When all else fails, throw it to Hop,” Yates said. “That’s all I was thinking there.”The Texans’ win over the Bengals might trigger a few more thoughts. Houston might be forced to start its third quarterback of the season next week if Hoyer isn’t cleared to play. Yates said it felt a little nostalgic to win in Cincinnati again, but he recognized something else that felt like 2011 along the way.“That defense looked dominant like it used to be,” Yates said. “Hopefully we gain some momentum and hopefully we can keep it going.”Now Houston (4-5) has an opportunity to make a run at the AFC South Division title, and that defense will have to stay in 2011 form. The Watt-led unit pressured Andy Dalton for three sacks in the second half, which Yates called “amazing.”Yates might be starting next week against the Jets backed by a low-traction running game (82 yards on 25 carries Monday night).  How will Yates handle that? Texans coach Bill O’Brien repeated a phrase, too.“He’s a pro,” O’Brien said. “He came back in here and had a great recall of our offense when he got back here. He’s got a really good demeanor. He’s a great guy in the locker room, really good teammate, very supportive of Brian (Hoyer), and he’s got similar experience to Brian in terms of years and things like that. He’s a pro.”That’s why, when called upon with the game — and perhaps season — on the line, Yates made it happen in a familiar setting one more time. Bengals fans aren’t going to forget, and that’s because Yates remembered to be ready.“I’ve done it before,” he said. “I just made sure I was prepared for this. You have to do that coming into every single week, and this week my number was called and I made it happen.”

About the author

xa1 administrator