The previous time Andy Dalton played in his hometown, he left without his jersey.
The Bengals quarterback finally ended his streak of horrid games against the Texans last November, leading Cincinnati to a 22-13 win in Houston. Afterward, he spent some time with family and gave his father a game-worn gift.
The Bengals (8-0) have something very special going on as they get ready for a rematch on Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium. Dalton has led Cincinnati to the best start in franchise history and a commanding lead in the AFC North.
The fifth-year quarterback has been among the league's top passers all season — he ranked second this week — and has eliminated all the questions about whether he'll ever develop into one of the game's elites.
During his first two seasons, his worst moments came in his hometown.
The Texans (3-5) beat the Bengals in first-round games in Houston during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. J.J. Watt returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown in the first one, and Dalton overthrew an open A.J. Green in the end zone in the closing minutes of the second playoff loss.
Given how far Dalton and the Bengals have come, it's almost as if the Texans are facing a different team this time around.
"I mean, his team is 8-0 and it's a quarterback-driven league, so he's obviously playing very good football," Watt said. "When you're 8-0, everybody on your team is playing pretty good football."