The Houston Texans will have both Hopkins and Watt — two of the greatest players in franchise history — on the 2021 schedule as an opponent for the first time in Week 7 (Sunday, Oct. 24), and to be honest there most likely won’t be many warm fuzzies going around when kickoff arrives.
Who knows exactly how good the Cardinals will be, and where they will be sitting in the standings, when this game rolls around, but if the Texans are who we think they are, they could be a one-win team by the time their plane lands in Arizona.
J.J. Watt left the Houston Texans organization after 10 seasons on his own terms as he was granted the release he asked for, and both sides split with a fresh start. Watt is the all-time leader in sacks for the Houston Texans, was a three-time Defensive Player of the Year with Houston, and he was the face of the Texans franchise until the day he hung up his No. 99 jersey and asked for his release.
As for Hopkins, a lot was said about him and former general manager/head coach Bill O’Brien. The former man in charge of the Texans now greets folks in Alabama with a greeting of “Roll Tide” as the ‘Bama offensive coordinator after he was fired following an 0-4 start to the ’20 season.
Since O’Brien traded Hopkins to Arizona for a second round pick and running back David Johnson, the star wide receiver hasn’t spoken too kindly about some aspects of his former franchise. Hopkins was great while wearing a Texans jersey for seven seasons, and he helped the Texans to great success while on the roster, especially when he had Deshaun Watson as his quarterback.
When Hopkins was on the field with the Texans he helped make them into contenders in the AFC. In his seven seasons with the Texans, Hopkins totaled 110 career starts where he caught 632 passes for 8,602 yards and 54 touchdowns, becoming the second greatest wide receiver in Texans history.
It will be very weird watching Hopkins and Watt as the opponent of the Houston Texans, especially Watt because he became a Hall of Fame candidate while a member of the franchise.
The duo of Watt and Hopkins are wanting to “finish what they started” in Houston while members of the Cardinals, and though this game would be even better if it were being played at NRG Stadium in Houton, maybe it is best this game is being played in Arizona because it most likely won’t be fun and exciting for the Texans on the scoreboard.
Let’s face it, the Houston Texans have yet to replace Hopkins on their roster, and though Watt wasn’t the player he once was, not having him on the defense in ’21 is going to cause changes in how teams attack the offense of the Texans. This will also be a “revenge game” for Hopkins, and who can blame him?
This will not be a happy memory for the Houston Texans unfortunately. When this game arrives we all better hope the Texans are a better team than most believe they will be at this point of the season. If not, we are going to hear the phrase “Touchdown, DeAndre Hopkins,” more than any Texans fan wants to hear, making for a very long day.