Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis met the media Thursday to talk about Monday's opponent, the Houston Texans.
The unbeaten Bengals are 8-0. The Texans are 3-5.
Coach Lewis said that records won't matter Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium.
“As we look to the Texans, this is a huge football game for us. They lost the first two, won one, lost two, and then they’ve gone and won, lost, and won the last three ballgames. They’ve settled in on the quarterback with (Brian) Hoyer. He’s done a good job getting them in the right place offensively and delivering the ball in a timely fashion. He’s been efficient with the ball and has very low interceptions. They have a great wideout in DeAndre Hopkins. He has had a great start to the season with both catches and touchdowns. Nate Washington is a veteran player who plays on the other side and has had a strong season and is a good player we’ve faced in the past."
Lewis, however, is watching the ground game.
“They like to run the ball, and their scheme is set up that way, with the play action and pass off of that. We have a great challenge defensively," the coach said.
And, the Bengals?
"When you flip it over to our offense, this is a team that’s very well put together defensively. They added the big guy in the middle, and then you put (J.J.) Watt and Whitney Mercilus with (Jadeveon) Clowney; they’ve done a great job of the outside pressure. The secondary with Johnathan Joseph and the young corner is playing excellent football. It’s a well put together group. They’re leading the league in (defensive) third-down percentage. We have to continue to do the things that have been a part of our success, and that’s taking care of the football, taking care of the quarterback, and making plays with the ball in our hands.”
Lewis said what makes J.J. Watt so special is that "he’s got great physical tools and length, and the flexibility to get edges and be explosive, with both vertical leap or penetrating. He does it both ways. He has a relentless motor; all the things you look at as positive traits for a good defensive lineman.”
Lewis had praise for Joseph, the former Bengal: “I think he’s been excellent throughout his career. He’s continued to do a great job and is a great mentor for the young kid on the other side, because Johnathan has so much to offer that way, as coming in and playing as a young corner in the NFL. Johnathan’s feel around the receiver has been so special, and this kid has those same traits.”