When the Houston Texans stunned the football world by acquiring the rights to draft Will Anderson in April, few could have imagined the trajectory the Texans would find themselves in. Meanwhile, the Cardinals battle through a lost season only somewhat mitigated by Kyler Murray’s return.
This matchup is between teams who have inverted their places since their last matchup in Week 7 of 2021. Then, the Cardinals smacked the Texans, 31-5. Two years later, it is the Texans who find themselves in the position of a team on the rise behind rookie sensation C.J. Stroud.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals remain locked in the throes of another lost season, and while Kyler Murray finally returned in Week 10 to help stun the Atlanta Falcons, it’s inevitable that Arizona will secure a top-five pick in the NFL Draft, one that may be used to draft Murray’s replacement.
Arizona’s decidedly anemic offense has only scored 17.6 points per contest this season and will need to rely on both Trey McBride, who totaled 131 yards on eight catches last weekend, and James Conner, who is seeking his third consecutive game against the Texans with a touchdown, if they are to have a fighting chance to stun the upstart Texans while Murray continues to get back up to speed.
#Texans DC Matt Burke on #Cardinals running back James Conner: 'The lifeblood of their offense. He looks for contact. He's got a great stiff arm. That's a big challenge for us. He's an inspiring player because he's tough, relentless and plays with a lot of energy.' @KPRC2
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 16, 2023
While the Texans will compete for the AFC South on Thanksgiving Weekend, Stroud’s squad needs to be wary and not look too far ahead as this is a perfect opportunity to fall into a trap game situation. Should Stroud pass for over 350 yards on Sunday, it will mark the third consecutive game in which he has done so. This would be the first time any rookie has accomplished such a feat and would only serve to further solidify the increasing calls for Stroud to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
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Date: Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023
Start time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Houston, Tex.
Stadium: NRG Stadium
TV Info: CBS, NFL+, Paramount+, YouTube Primetime, YouTube TV
Odds courtesy of DraftKings.
Point Spread: ARI +5 (-110), HOU -5 (-110)
Moneyline: ARI (+185), HOU (-225)
Over/Under: O/U 48.5 (-110)
The Texans open as five-point favorites.
What To Watch For
A potential trap game situation awaits the Texans, as Arizona has played other playoff contenders surprisingly close this season, including the AFC North-leading Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals, whom Houston toppled last weekend. Murray is only just beginning the fight for his future, depending on Arizona’s plans next offseason. For Stroud and company, a perfect opportunity awaits to keep their surprising momentum going into a critical game against the Jaguars.
"I see a great player, great QB."
— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) November 16, 2023
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