The poor state of quarterback play in the NFL will be on full display when the Houston Texans host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The Texans’ high-flying offense was grounded when rookie sensation Deshaun Watson’s season ended with a torn ACL, while the Cardinals will start their third different quarterback.
The Texans are 0-3 with Tom Savage under center, including a 33-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last week in which he threw two interceptions. “At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what I say right now or how I view this upcoming week,” Savage told reporters. “The only thing that really matters is just winning, and that’s it. I can sit here and tell you all day that I want to throw 75 percent or I feel like I’m getting better – that doesn’t matter. No one cares about any of that stuff. What matters is winning, and that’s what we’re going to try to do this weekend.” The Cardinals have lost two quarterbacks to injury after backup Drew Stanton suffered a sprained knee in last week’s 22-16 loss to Seattle, prompting them to turn to former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert this week. “He can really spin it,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians told reporters. “He’s not been in the offense as long as Drew, but he’s a very bright guy. We’ll tailor it to where he’s comfortable when he goes out on the field. He’s very athletic, and it would be fun watching him play.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Texans -1. O/U: 38.5
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (4-5): Beyond the balky quarterback play, the Cardinals have suffered from an inconsistent ground game. Acquiring Adrian Peterson gave the offense some punch, but he has alternated two big performances with two clunkers and gained just 29 yards on 21 carries against the Seahawks. Arizona’s defense has been excellent against the run, allowing triple-digit yardage only twice, and the secondary has played better of late as it limited Seattle to 212 passing yards.
ABOUT THE TEXANS (3-6): Houston ranks seventh in the league in scoring offense but has totaled only 21 points in two games since Watson’s injury and has failed to crack 300 total yards in either contest. Savage has completed just 47.3 percent of his passes, and leading rusher Lamar Miller averages only 3.9 yards per carry. The Texans are excellent against the run but struggle to stop the pass, so Gabbert likely will have to beat them.
1. Peterson needs one rushing touchdown to become the ninth player in NFL history with 100.
2. Hopkins has caught a scoring pass in five straight home games.
3. Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney has recorded a sack in three straight contests.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 19, Texans 16