Cardinals at Texans: Score Prediction and Final Thoughts
The Texans will try to make it three straight wins as they host Arizona
Does DeMeco Ryans have a few snaps left in him? Of all the times for the Texans to be missing two key linebackers, this is among the worst matchups.
Kyler Murray is as dynamic as they come when it comes to mobile quarterbacks and the Texans are down starters Denzel Perryman and Henry To’oTo’o. They could be without defensive end Will Anderson who practiced all week until Friday when a knee injury kept him from working out.
The pressure at linebacker turns to Blake Cashman and Christian Harris. Cashman has been money this season at linebacker for the Texans. He won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week earlier this season and he’s been flying around since he got healthy.
Harris is playing well lately too. A few rough early snaps in the win over the Buccaneers gave way to some of the best football Harris has played in a Texans uniform.
The rest of the linebackers available have small amounts of experience on the 2023 defense. Neville Hewitt has primarily played special teams for the Texans. Garret Wallow was on the practice squad before this game. Cory Littleton has been on and off the roster.
It isn’t just linebackers who help with Kyler Murray, but it feels like they’re the ones who earn the responsibility a lot of time. Let’s see what the shorthanded group and DeMeco Ryans can do against Murray.
I believe the Texans will win 28-13. I don’t know how the Cardinals stop the Texans, but they could muddy this game up a little. Arizona has been decent at stopping opposing teams when it comes to yards per pass attempt and yards per rush attempt over their last three games. There could be some ugly stretches as Jonathan Gannon is still a solid defensive mind. The Cardinals on offense don’t really match up well with the Texans. Sure, Murray is dynamic, but he can’t do it alone. It might be close for a minute but the Texans pull away late.
Nico In, Noah Out
Nico Collins is set to return from his one-week absence due to a calf injury. Collins is the leading receiver on the team and only Noah Brown’s incredible stretch has him beat on a per-catch and per-game basis for team lead.
Noah Brown is coming off probably the best two-game stretch of his football life and yet he’s squarely questionable to play on Sunday. He didn’t practice all week, which usually means a player is out. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Brown will test out the knee pregame before the Texans make a decision on him.
If Brown can’t go, I would expect it to mean more Collins in his return and a bit more Robert Woods than we saw last week. C.J. Stroud has been comfortable no matter who is available to him, and that shouldn’t change against the Cardinals.