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Quick Hits: Houston Texans vs. Atlanta Falcons Preview

The Houston Texans take on the Atlanta Falcons.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to imagine a matchup for a 2-2 team facing another 2-2 team is a possible “trap game”. However, based on the high of highs from last week’s win vs the Pittsburgh Steelers on J.J. Watt day, it’s easy to think this might be a set-up for a letdown for the Houston Texans. Will the Atlanta Falcons spring that trap? Meh ...

On the flip side, having all-pro left tackle Laremy Tunsil returning to the lineup should be huge for rising star C.J. Stroud and his record-breaking rookie run. If Stroud and his potent receiving corps can do what they’ve done behind a patchwork line, as the starters get healthy and return to pass block and road grade, the Texans offense should continue to improve. While right guard Tytus Howard isn’t back on the depth chart yet, that day is coming.

With this only the sixth meeting between the two teams (Houston leads the series 3-2), there isn’t even a lot of historical data to go off when trying to pick the winner of this one. But, #InDeMecoWeTrust prevails and my bet is on Coach Ryans until proven otherwise.


  • QB C.J. STROUD (rookie) passed for 306 yards and two TDs vs. zero INTs with 111.3 rating last week. Ranks fourth in NFL with 1,212 passing yards this season, second-most ever by player in first four career games (Cam Newton - 1,386). Joined Gardner Minshew (2019) as only QBs ever with zero INTs in first four career starts (min. 30 atts. in each start). Aims for fourth in row with 2+ TD passes.
  • RB DAMEON PIERCE had season-high 108 scrimmage yards (season-high 81 rush, 27 rec.) last week, seventh-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards. Has rush TD in two of past three on road.
  • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had first-career TD pass last week and is one of two RBs (Derrick Henry) with TD pass this season. Had career-high 110 rush yards in only career game vs. Atlanta (1/2/22 w/ Buffalo Bills).
  • WR NICO COLLINS had seven catches for career-high 168 yards and two TDs last week, most rec. yards by Houston player since 2020 (171 by Will Fuller). Is one of two in NFL (Tyreek Hill) with 125+ rec. yards and rec. TD in multiple games this season. Has 6+ catches in three of four games in 2023. Ranks fifth in NFL with 428 rec. yards this season.
  • WR TANK DELL (rookie) has 5+ catches, 70+ rec. yards and rec. TD in two of past three. Ranks second among rookies with 267 rec. yards in 2023.
  • TE DALTON SCHULTZ had first TD catch of season last week.
  • LB CHRISTIAN HARRIS led team with season-best 12 tackles in Week 4. Has 5+ tackles in four of his past five on road.
  • LB HENRY TO’OTO’O (rookie) aims for fourth in row with 7+ tackles and third in row with PD. Leads rookies with 27 tackles this season.
  • DE JONATHAN GREENARD had three TFLs and two sacks last week.
  • DE JERRY HUGHES had first sack of season in Week 4. Aims for third in row with TFL. Has sack in two of his past three vs. Atlanta.
  • CB STEVEN NELSON had second INT of season last week. Has PD in all four games this season.


  • QB DESMOND RIDDER passed for 191 yards and TD last week. Is 4-0 as starter at home with five TDs (four pass, one rush) and 96.6 rating. Has TD pass in four of his past five starts.
  • RB BIJAN ROBINSON (rookie) had five receptions and 137 scrimmage yards (105 rush, 32 rec.) in Week 4. Is one of four RBs (De’Von Achane, Christian McCaffrey and D’Andre Swift) with 2+ (two) games of 100+ rush yards in 2023. Leads RBs with 19 receptions and ranks second among RBs with 452 scrimmage yards.
  • RB TYLER ALLGEIER has 851 scrimmage yards (85.1 per game) and four TDs (three rush, one rec.) in 10 career home games, including 50+ scrimmage yards in nine of 10.
  • WR DRAKE LONDON had second rec. TD of season last week, his sixth-career TD catch. Has 5+ catches in four of his past five at home.
  • TE JONNU SMITH led team with six receptions and 95 rec. yards last week and aims for his third in row with 5+ receptions.
  • S JESSIE BATES had eight tackles, TFL and FF last week and is third player since 2000 with 3+ INTs (three) & 2+ FFs (two) in team’s first four games of season.
  • S RICHIE GRANT led team and tied his career high with 11 tackles last week, his fourth-career game with 10+ tackles. Has 5+ tackles in 10 of his past 11 at home.
  • DL GRADY JARRETT had FF in last meeting.
  • DL CALAIS CAMPBELL has 9.5 sacks in nine career games vs. Houston and aims for his third in row vs. Houston with sack.
  • DL DAVID ONYEMATA tied his career high with seven tackles and had 1.5 sacks in Week 4, his third-career game with 1.5+ sacks. Has TFL in four of his past five and aims for his third in row with TFL.
  • LB NATE LANDMAN had career-high 10 tackles in Week 4.
  • CB A.J. TERRELL has three PD in his past three at home.

Will the high flying Texans turn 2-2 into 3-2? Does this Sunday land as day one of the DeMeco Ryans winning record as a head coach? Can C.J. Stroud continue his rookie record run? I say yes, what about you?

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