The Roller Coaster season continues. The Cardinals slide back to under .500 after losing to the Osprey (the Seahawks) and now look to wrangle the Texans in this edition of Talking Touchdowns.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans
One team in Houston is on cloud nine after winning the World Series, while the other sporting franchise is left scratching their heads in front of the drawing board. The Texans are now 3-6 for the first time in Bill O’Brien’s four seasons and are currently on a three game losing streak. Can the Cardinals make it a four game losing streak? Let’s preview this matchup as the Johnson and Palmer-less Cardinals go up against the Watt and Watson-less Texans to see who can pull a rabbit from a hat.
For the Cardinals, bad news comes in threes? According to reports, Drew Stanton may be out against the Texans with a sprained knee. If that’s the case, third string QB Blaine Gabbert will start. Has the QB guru himself, BA, imparted enough wisdom on the young grasshopper? In 2016, Gabbert played in six games where he threw for 925 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. Those are not great numbers, but to be fair, he was playing for the 49ers who went 2-14 under Chip Kelly. (Sorry 49ers Fangirl, Tracy!)
2017 hasn’t been so kind the Texans either. Houston lost their QB of the future, Deshaun Watson, to season ending injury. Watson’s Backup, Tom Savage, is the new signal caller for the team and he is no savage. The backup had four turnovers last week (two interceptions and two fumbles). He completed 18 of 36 passes for 221 yards, one TD and two interceptions in his last game against the Rams. With back-to-back poor outings from Savage, could the RedBirds see the Texans third string QB? Besides QB issues, the one bright spot on offense is DeAndre Hopkins who was targeted 14 times and went 7-14 for 111 yards in last weeks loss against the Rams. Hopkins will have to face shut-down cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Injuries. This one word sums up the NFL and the Cardinals this year. Cardinals have lost their star QB, running back, left tackle, linebacker and now safety, Tyvonn Branch. So let’s shine some light on a positive and that is cornerback, aka Patrick Peterson’s counterpart, Tramon Williams. For having to compliment a shutdown CB like P2, Williams has been just the guy. In his last game against the Seahawks, he broke up three passes on six targets and only allowed three receptions for 14 yards. Again, he is not a shutdown CB like his counterpart, but what matters is that he is consistent and a step up from Justin Bethel, whom he replaced.
What is Defense? is the question the Texans have been asking after losing star, and Houston hero, defensive end, JJ Watt. It’s all about the CBs in this game. For the Texans, I am going to highlight third year cornerback Kevin Johnson. Johnson was only targeted twice against the Rams last week, allowing one catch for negative yards. Not only did Johnson control the pass game but he was able help with run defense as well with two stops.
The winner of the magic rabbit in a hat trick I am giving to the Cardinals. I know I always pick the red birds but there has to be something to “willing it to be,” am I right? Cardinals win 27-7 and get back even.Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @cardinalsFGSN. Go Cardinals!
- Houston Astros Logo on Wikimedia Commons by Spielplan
- Houston Texans on Wikimedia Commons by Houston Texans
- Arizona Cardinals on Wikimedia Commons by Moe Epsilon
- Bruce Arians on Flickr by Gage Skidmore
- DeAndre Hopkins on Wikimedia Commons by Jeffrey Beale
- Patrick Peterson on wikimedia commons by Jeffrey Beall
- JJ Watt on Wikimedia Commons by Jeffrey Beall