In their valiant quest for the #1 overall draft pick in 2022, the Knights of the McEasterby Table will tilt at the windmill known as the Arizona Cardinals this weekend. Not only is it a must-lose game for Houston (as they all are this year), but it will present the first time former Houston Texans All-Pro players DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt face their old franchise. Wanna bet Hopkins doesn’t shake Easterby’s hand after the game?
With no one in the Houston secondary who could ever dream of covering D-Hop and no one on the offensive line has any hope of stopping Watt or Chandler Jones, expect the undefeated Cardinals to slay the Texans in rapid fashion. Yes, this one has the potential to get very ugly, very quickly.
Houston Texans Key Stats
- QB DAVIS MILLS (rookie) completed 29 of 43 passes (67.4 pct.) for 243 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 225+ pass yards & 65+ comp. pct. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 63.3 comp. pct. this season.
- RB MARK INGRAM led team with 73 rush yards last week. Has 291 scrimmage yards (97 per game) in 3 career games vs. Az. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Az. with 75+ scrimmage yards. Leads all active players in rush yards (7,609) & ranks 2nd in rush TDs (63).
- RB DAVID JOHNSON totaled 5,347 scrimmage yards (3,128 rush, 2,219 rec.) & 48 TDs (33 rush, 15 rec.) in 5 seasons with Az. (2015-19).
- RB PHILLIP LINDSAY had season-high 54 scrimmage yards (39 rush, 15 rec.) in Week 6. Rushed for 90 yards & TD in only career game vs. Az. (10/18/18 w/ Den.).
- WR BRANDIN COOKS led team with 9 catches for 89 yards last week. Has 5+ catches in 5 of 6 games this season. Aims for his 7th in row on road with 5+ catches. Rookie
- WR NICO COLLINS had season-high 44 rec. yards in Week 6.
- LB ZACH CUNNINGHAM has 7+ tackles in 9 of his past 10 on road.
- LB CHRISTIAN KIRKSEY had TFL in Week 6. Has TFL in 2 of 3 road games this season. Aims for 3rd in row vs. NFC West with 0.5+ sacks.
- LB KAMU GRUGIER-HILL led team with 7 tackles last week. Has 7+ tackles in 3 of his past 4. Has 4 TFL in his past 3 on road.
- DE JONATHAN GREENARD had career-high 2 sacks last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ TFL & sack.
Arizona Cardinals Key Stats
- QB KYLER MURRAY passed for 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 129 rating in Week 6, his 2nd-career game with 4 TD passes (Week 1). Is 1 of 2 QBs (DAK PRESCOTT) with 5 games of 100+ rating in 2021. Has 2,909 pass yards (290.9 per game) & 29 TDs (20 pass, 9 rush) in his past 10 home starts. Has 19 TDs (13 pass, 6 rush) & 107.5 rating in 7 career starts vs. AFC.
- RB JAMES CONNER rushed for 71 yards last week. Has 5 rush TDs in his past 4. Had 149 scrimmage yards (109 rush, 40 rec.) & rush TD in his last game vs. Hou. (9/27/20 w/ Pit.).
- RB CHASE EDMONDS has 50+ scrimmage yards in 5 of 6 games in 2021. Ranks 4th among RBs with 26 catches this season.
- WR DEANDRE HOPKINS had 12th-career game with 2+ rec. TDs (2) in Week 6. Has rec. TD in 5 of his past 6 at home. Spent 7 seasons (2013-19) with Hou. & ranks 2nd in franchise history in receptions (632), rec. yards (8,602) & rec. TDs (54).
- WR A.J. GREEN led team with 79 rec. yards & had 3rd rec. TD of season last week. Has 5+ catches in 4 of his 5 career games vs. Hou.
- DE J.J. WATT had 1st sack of season & 26th-career FF last week. Spent 10 seasons (2011-20) with Hou. & is franchise leader in sacks (101) & TFL (172). Watt (102 sacks) & LB CHANDLER JONES (102) are only active pair of teammates with 100+ sacks each.
- LB MARKUS GOLDEN had 5th-career game with 2+ sacks (2) & 10th-career FF last week. Has 3 FFs in his past 5.
- LB JORDAN HICKS had career-high 2 sacks in Week 6.
- S BUDDA BAKER had 12 tackles, sack, 2 FFs, 2 PD & FR in last meeting.
This is certainly a snapshot of two teams headed in opposite directions. The Cardinals are early Super Bowl favorites, the only remaining undefeated team in the league, with a hot-handed quarterback and a roster flush with talent. The Texans are a shell of their former glory, don’t have enough quality players to field a flag football team, and aren’t showing really any signs of improving as long as Cal McNair and Jack Easterby are calling the shots.
While Phoenix isn’t remotely as cool as H-Town, expect their star to shine far brighter this weekend.