Cincinnati's Marvin Jones holds onto the ball with one hand for a touchdown with Detroit's Chris Houston defending in the second quarter. Houston was also trailing the play on A.J. Green's 82-yard TD pass in the first quarter. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Detroit — Chris Houston didn’t even try to sugarcoat it.
“That’s probably the worst half of football I played in my life,” he said.
He got burned on a double-move by receiver A.J. Green on the Bengals’ first offensive series, then he missed a tackle on the same play. End result: an 82-yard touchdown for Green.
Later, before the end of the first half, he was beaten to the ball by receiver Marvin Jones — a 12-yard touchdown.
He wound up benched in favor of rookie Darius Slay.
Asked if he was bothered by the coach’s decision, Houston said, “Definitely not. I felt like I was letting my team down.”
What was galling to Houston and coach Jim Schwartz was getting beat on the double-move by Green. It was something that was stressed and emphasized all week.
“We didn’t want to give up big plays to No. 18 (Green) and he goes and makes a huge play early in the game,” Schwartz said. “It was something that was a big point of emphasis all week, all his double-moves and things like that. We worked on it all week and we didn’t execute well enough.”
Houston said Green showed a different type of double-move than he had shown previously.
“I know that’s one of the things he likes to do but he showed a double-move that was different,” he said. “Usually it’s a slant-and-go or a stutter-and-go. This time (quarterback Andy Dalton) booted and then Green ran a turn and then went up. It’s something I have to play better with technique or get with the coaches to see how to put it out.”
The benching didn’t last long. Starting right cornerback Rashean Mathis left the game with a groin injury, and Houston played most of the second half and didn’t yield any more big plays.
Still, Houston wasn’t consoled.
“I put the whole game on me,” he said. “No matter what nobody says, no matter how the coaches try to put it. I put this whole game on me. But when you face adversity it’s going to let you know what you are capable of.
“This was a wake-up call for me.”
O-line injuries mount
First it was starting left tackle Riley Reiff. He left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by rookie LaAdrian Waddle.
Then, early in the fourth quarter, starting right tackle Corey Hilliard went down with a knee injury. Reiff, clearly hobbling, came back in. Guard-center Dylan Gandy was the only other healthy lineman available.
“There are some injury situations we’re going to have a close eye on this week,” Schwartz said.
Hilliard said he will have an MRI today.
“I’m just going to play it by ear,” he said. “It could be worse or better than I think it could be. If I knew, I really couldn’t tell you because we’re really not supposed to talk about injuries to the media.”
Waddle, an undrafted rookie, seemed to hold his own at both left and right tackle.
“He looked good,” Hilliard said. “I’m proud of him. He was prepared and he looked good.”
The Lions began the game with just three healthy tackles. Jason Fox continues to be out with a knee injury.
Linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who led the Bengals with 13 tackles, came away with a different impression of Lions’ center Dominic Raiola.
“I was watching the center on film and I’m like, ‘Man, this guy, he’s dirty,’ ” Burfict said. “I went out there and he played a clean game. I even told him, ‘Man, you’re a great player. I watched you on film and I thought I had to watch out for you because that guy loves to go for people’s knees.’
“He’s like, ‘Nah, man, I’m not that type of guy.’ I gave a lot of respect for the Detroit Lions because they went out and just played football.”
Calvin Johnson achieved a few more milestones with his nine-catch, 155-yard, two-touchdown day. He now owns the franchise record with 35 100-yard games. He extended his franchise record for games of 150 or more yards to 10. And with two touchdowns, he now has 61, one behind franchise leader Herman Moore (62).
… Running back Joique Bell had 56 total yards Sunday, playing with a protective vest around his ribs.
... Reggie Bush, who had 50 yards rushing and 44 receiving, had a sore neck after the game.
… The Bengals had several players leave with injuries including former Michigan defensive back Leon Hall. He suffered an Achilles injury in the first half. Coach Marvin Lewis said he feared the injury could be long term.
… Inactive for the Lions were tight end Tony Scheffler (concussion), receiver Nate Burleson (forearm), quarterback Kellen Moore, cornerback Jonte Green, running back Theo Riddick (concussion), offensive lineman Leroy Harris and Fox (knee).