Texans0370 -- 10Bengals3706 -- 16
Carson Palmer's shoulder bore a nasty red scrape. Blood trickled from an inch-long gash on the bridge of Willie Anderson's nose. Chad Johnson wore a bandage above his skinned knee.
These Bengals were beaten up, but still unbeaten.
Cincinnati improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1988 -- the last time it made the Super Bowl -- with its victory over the visiting Texans, who couldn't take advantage of the Bengals' penalties or their pain.
"Everybody was going with some type of injury," said Anderson, a Pro Bowl right tackle who threw his back out before the kickoff and hurt his nose during the game. "That's the type of character this team has now."
Four wins will do that.
The Bengals had 14 penalties for 117 yards -- one of them wiped out T.J. Houshmandzadeh's touchdown catch -- and lost both of their veteran centers to knee injuries in the second quarter.
They absorbed the penalties, shuffled the line and gritted it out.
"We had some dumb mistakes," Palmer said. "We're not always perfect."
But so far, good enough.
Shayne Graham's 27-yard field goal with 5 minutes 4 seconds left broke a tie at 10, and David Carr's disputed fumble with 3:14 remaining sent the Texans to their first 0-3 start in their four seasons.
Cincinnati: FG Graham 24, 4:35.
Houston: FG K.Brown 28, 13:31.
Cincinnati: J.Johnson 1 pass from Palmer (Graham kick), 1:09.
Houston: Norris 4 pass from Carr (K.Brown kick), 7:40.
Cincinnati: FG Graham 27, 5:04.
Cincinnati: FG Graham 46, 1:10.
TexansBengalsFirst Downs 1822Total Net Yards 254371Rushes-Yards 23-12625-98Passing 128273Punt Returns 1-42-7Kickoff Returns 5-1302-55Interceptions Ret. 0-00-0Comp-Att-Int 17-26-025-34-0Sacked-Yards Lost 7-462-3Punts 4-36.32-47.5Fumbles-Lost 1-11-0Penalties-Yards 9-9014-117Time Of Possession 25:2634:34 RUSHING
Houston: Davis 19-81, Carr 3-35, Wells 1-10.
Cincinnati: R.Johnson 19-88, Perry 4-6, Houshmandzadeh 1-5, Palmer, 1-(minus 1).
Houston: Carr 17-26-0-174. Cincinnati Palmer 25-34-0-276.
Houston: Gaffney 6-88, Davis 4-31, A.Johnson 3-38, Wells 2-5, Bradford 1-8, Norris, 1-4.
Cincinnati: Houshmandzadeh 8-105, C.Johnson 7-67, C.Perry 4-29, Henry 2-34, Kelly 2-20, Schobel 1-20, J.Johnson 1-1.
MISSED FIELD GOALS
Cincinnati: Graham 42 (WR).