The Cardinals will enter Week Seven as the only undefeated team, aiming to secure a 7-0 start when they play the Texans Sunday. The Cardinals are 17.5-point favorites, with the Texans tied with the Dolphins and Jaguars for the worst record in the AFC.
As State Farm Stadium prepares to host its third home game of the year, here are five Cardinals to watch for in this week's spotlight.
The last time Ertz faced the Texans, he had 12 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns in a 2018 Eagles victory. Three years later, Ertz will play them again Sunday in his Cardinals debut. The Cardinals already have a top-five passing offense with an MVP signal-caller and diverse wide receiver group. The Cardinals have never had an elite pass-catching threat at tight end -- the last time they had a 100-yard receiver in a game at the position was 1989 -- so the hope is that Ertz can at least pick up where Maxx Williams left off and perhaps even raise that part of the offense.
Sunday will be Hopkins' first game against the Texans since they traded him to the Cardinals in 2020. Yes, Hopkins' main objective will center on helping the team gain another victory to continue its undefeated season, but all players that suit up -- for the first time -- against the team that drafted them want to make a statement. The Texans' secondary has struggled in 2021, so don't be shocked if quarterback Kyler Murray targets Hopkins a lot – leading to a field day.
Conner is tied for the second-most touchdowns in the NFL and is fresh off generating 71 yards on 4.4 yards per carry vs. Cleveland, both season-highs. Conner could tack on additional rushing touchdowns and maybe get his first 100-yard game Sunday against the Texans, who sport the second-worst run defense in the NFL, allowing 141.3 yards per game.
Like his former and current teammate in Hopkins, J.J. Watt will face his former team Sunday for the first time since requesting his release after the 2020 season. Watt has been sensational this year, among the most disruptive pass rushers in the NFL – and will have an extra edge lining up against the jerseys he donned for 10 seasons. The Texans have allowed the eighth most-sacks in the NFL, so don't be shocked if Texans quarterback Davis Mills becomes the 42nd signal-caller Watt has sacked in his career.
Moore was quiet in the Cardinals' victory over the Browns, tallying just 26 yards from scrimmage, but since the Texans have allowed the seventh-most yards this season, he has a chance to do much more this week. Moore is most dangerous in open space (space that might be even more available with the addition of Ertz). The Cards have also found a way to work Moore into the running game. He remains a piece defenses must worry about, regardless of his touches.
Images of the top players to watch Sunday versus Houston: QB Kyler Murray, LT D.J. Humphries, C Max Garcia, DE Zach Allen and OLB Dennis Gardeck.