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In Cardinals' Quest For Postseason Success, No Overlooking Texans

Team has focus on struggling Houston in their one-week mentality

Wide receiver A.J. Green is brought down after a catch against the Browns last week.
Wide receiver A.J. Green is brought down after a catch against the Browns last week.

A.J. Green became beloved in the Cincinnati community by collecting several 1,000-yard seasons and Pro Bowl selections, making him a household name.

That was all well and good, but with team success, it wasn't the same. Green has never been past the Wild Card round in the playoffs since entering the league in 2011.

It's why Green signed with the Cardinals in free agency, as did teammate J.J. Watt, both chasing after the elusive Super Bowl ring.

"That's why we all play this game," Green said. "I think any great player will take a Super Bowl win over great individual stats any day."

The Cardinals enter Week Seven as the only undefeated team, looking to secure a 7-0 start against the Texans (1-5) on Sunday. Coach Kliff Kingsbury might not be available for the second straight week because of Covid, but the Cardinals are still 17-point favorites, the largest spread this season. The Texans won't have the services of starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor, instead starting rookie Davis Mills.

The Cardinals host the Green Bay Packers Thursday at State Farm Stadium four days later. The Packers are led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers and are tied Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Rams for the second-best record in the NFC.

It will be a highly anticipated national television matchup, but the Cardinals remain focused on the Texans.

"We just worry about the week," Green said. "When you start thinking ahead, that's when your focus gets off. We don't look ahead; we live in the moment. We'll deal with the next one when it comes."

The Cardinals fielded questions about a potential trap game before dominating the Jaguars in a Week Three 31-19 victory. Ahead of facing another lower-tier franchise in the AFC, the question has returned.

Quarterback Kyler Murray, who will face the Texans for the first time in his career, does not believe in trap games.

"I view every game as their own," Murray said. "Their record is what people look at, but like I said, it's the NFL – they have players. So, we'll need to go out there and give them our best shot Sunday – and prepare that way throughout the week. That's how I see it."

The Texans have played most of their games close even as the losses pile up. And for a veteran coach like Vance Joseph, serving as the acting co-head coach with Kingsbury sidelined, that's what he sees rather than a miserable record.

"We don't view them based on their record," Joseph said. "They're an NFL team coming into town with really good players. It can't be a trap game; that's B.S. and insulting to the league. "

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