Houston Texans: Panthers, Sam Darnold strike first on Thursday night

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Texans defense had an excellent defensive stand to start the game, but when the Carolina Panthers finished their second drive, that wasn’t the case.

Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold, in his third game as Carolina’s quarterback after a handful of seasons with the New York Jets, led his new team down the field and finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to cap off a 10-play, 88-yard drive.

The Houston Texans defense showed some of their weaknesses in their secondary, especially this week with the unit not having safety Justin Reid in this Week 3 game because of a knee injury. Reid this season has two interceptions and two passes defensed.

Also out on the Texans defense in Week 3 are Terrance Mitchell (defensive back), Jordan Jenkins (defensive line), and Kamu Grugier-Hill (linebacker).

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As for the Carolina offense, what is amazing going into the game was they’ve not trailed all season in the first two weeks, and the touchdown run by Darnold has kept that streak going so far into this Week 3 game.

Darnold in the touchdown drive also had a 3-yard run of his own, plus he found D.J. Moore for a 29-yard completion on third down. Darnold also had a 26-yard completion to Moore to set up the eventual touchdown run by the Panthers quarterback.

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It will be interesting to see how the Houston Texans defense adjusts to Darnold and the rest of the Carolina offense for the remainder of the game, because multiple 20-plus yard pass completions can’t keep happening on Thursday Night Football.