Dalton gets second chance against hometown team

Dalton gets second chance against hometown team
January 4, 2013, 9:45 am
Share This Post

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has made a habit of postseason appearances at Reliant Stadium since graduating from Katy in 2006.

The red-headed signal caller made his first appearance as a freshman for TCU when the Horned Frogs beat the University of Houston in the Texas Bowl, and then he returned in 2011 as a rookie quarterback in the NFL when the Texans beat the Bengals 31-10 in the wildcard round of the playoffs. Now he's coming back with the Bengals for the second straight season to face the Texans in the NFL's first weekend of playoff action.

“Yeah, it’ll be fun," Dalton told Houston reporters this week. "There’s a lot of family and stuff around the Houston area, and in Texas in general. It’s definitely cool to come back and play where I’m from.”

Playing in your hometown has certain distractions, especially for a visiting player. But as loud as Reliant Stadium will be Dalton knows he’ll have at least one large pocket of fans who will be cheering him on because he’s providing the tickets.

“I don’t know, we haven’t got the total yet. I’m sure there will be a lot of people there.”

Dalton’s first NFL playoff experience was a difficult one, the Texans' defense harassed him all game in the wild card round last year, sacking him four times and forcing three interceptions, including J.J. Watt’s interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter. Though the loss was a bitter pill, Dalton now knows what to expect for Saturday’s rematch.

“We know what the atmosphere is going to be like,” Dalton said. “We obviously fell short last year, but I think we’ve got a lot of guys that were there last year and experienced all that. I don’t think there will be too many surprises for us going into it. I think all that other experience of playing there last year and all that is going to help us out this year.”

The Bengals head into the playoffs this year riding a second half surge, having won seven of their last eight games and Dalton is a big reason why. The quarterback has blossomed in his second season, throwing for more than 3,600 yards and 27 touchdowns. One thing that’s helped Dalton’s development has been the similar approach to games that his teams have had from high school here in the Houston area through the NFL.

“Everywhere that I’ve been, Katy, then TCU and now here, we practiced really hard,” Dalton said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s just because they’ve been defensive coaches or what that is. I think that attitude that every team that I’ve been on has had. I think all that stuff has helped me get where I am today.”

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Johnson doesn't need full practices at this stage of his career. He's a solid WR2 for Sunday's game against the Titans.
Oct 23 4:37PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) said he'd be surprised if he doesn't play in Sunday's game... Clowney hasn't played since tearing his meniscus in Week 1. He says he plans to "push through" the soreness that's still in his knee. If the training staff lets...
Oct 23 11:41AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Ryan Fitzpatrick admitted he "didn't get it to Andre [Johnson] nearly enough early"... Johnson finished with 5-77-0 on nine targets, but had just one catch for four yards through the first three quarters. After the game, coach Bill O'Brien said that Johnson...
Oct 23 8:03AM Read More
Brian Cushing - LB
Texans ILB Brian Cushing will miss at least one week with a knee injury. It's a blow to an already vulnerable Houston run defense, and a nice upgrade to Bishop Sankey's Week 8 matchup. Justin Tuggle and Mike Mohamed figure to start at inside...
Oct 22 8:32PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps coming off Monday night's loss. He'll remain a WR2 for Week 8 against the Titans.
Oct 22 5:22PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans listed Foster as "not injury related," but he missed practice time last week with a groin issue. Foster has a matchup with the Titans' No. 22 ranked run...
Oct 22 5:15PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
According to HoustonTexans.com, there's a "decent chance" Jadeveon Clowney (knee)... "He feels good," coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Well see how it goes this week in practice. We'll be able to make a determination pretty soon about whether...
Oct 21 3:58PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins (hand) is probable for Week 7. The Texans listed Hopkins on the injury report, but his status was never in doubt. He'll be a WR3 for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 18 2:54PM Read More

More Team Talk