TEXANS AT CARDINALS
- 1:25 p.m. Sunday
- State Farm Stadium
- Line: Cardinals -17 (For more details see BetMGM.com)
The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Texans at State Farm Stadium:
Watt, Hop, And Deep In The Heart Of Texans
They will try to downplay it at this point, and the game is not in Houston. But it's hard to believe both DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt won't feel some kind of way playing their former team for the first time. Watt's situation is a little different; the team was going in the wrong direction and they did release him – before free agency even – so he had time to find his new team and get the best deal. And Watt has been playing excellent football. Hopkins, on the other hand, wasn't necessarily looking to get out and the Texans did not want to adjust his contract. Hop hasn't had a giant Hop game yet; this week seems like a good time for it to happen. Watt, meanwhile, has a chance to hunt a rookie quarterback. This lines up in a lot of good ways for the former Texans, and it's hard to not see them taking advantage.
Kliff Kingsbury Sidelined, Episode II
As of Friday morning, Kliff Kingsbury was still DNP-Covid. His 10 days won't be up until after the Texans game unless he had two negative tests 24 hours apart – and as the league has found, coming back before that 10-day period is doesn't seem to happen often. The Cards won their game last week without Kingsbury, but that was after they had him around all week. This week, Kingsbury still was very much part of the planning, but he was unable to be at the actual practices. Yes, it's got to be killing him. But this is a staff that is experienced and been through this just a few days ago. It's hard to believe they won't be able to have another seamless performance with Kingsbury's return just on the other side.
A Rookie QB Against A Defense Ascending
The Cardinals' defense has made life hard for quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill and Baker Mayfield. Now they get Davis Mills, a rookie in the Houston lineup because the Deshaun Watson situation is a mess and Tyrod Taylor is hurt. Mills has had a couple of brief moments, but mostly he's struggled on a bad team. It doesn't seem optimal to face the Cardinals right now then, with a defensive unit that had five sacks and forced three turnovers last week – and should've only surrendered seven points, if it wasn't for a poorly played Hail Mary. Vance Joseph has his guys playing well, and even with bites from injuries and Covid, it doesn't seem to matter who is in the game. The defense never rests.