After suffering their fifth consecutive loss, the Houston Texans and their 1-5 overall record now must travel to the West Coast where DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt and the undefeated Arizona Cardinals are waiting.
Playing this poorly, and having to travel to face an undefeated team, has to really sting for the Texans. Facing a team that is 6-0 is tough enough, but add in facing two of the greatest Houston Texans players now on another team, that is also more successful at the moment, and it shows that the grass was actually greener on the other side.
Arizona is coming off a dominating win over the Cleveland Browns, a team that defeated the Texans earlier in the ’21 season, by a 37-14 score. That was with head coach Kliff Kingsbury being away from the team due to COVID-19 restrictions this past week.
This season the Cardinals also have wins against the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and the Tennessee Titans back in the season opener, so they just aren’t winning, but they are winning against some good teams.
Houston on the other had has only defeated the Jaguars back in Week 1, and since then has had a couple competitive losses, and two losses (against the Bills and Colts) that have been embarrassing this season.
Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins and his ’21 season to date
Since trading DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals before the ’20 season, the Houston Texans have just five wins in the franchise with four wins last season, and just one this season after six games. Hopkins this season with the Cardinals has 26 receptions for 367 yards and six touchdowns.
Hopkins is coming off a two touchdown performance this past Sunday against the Browns, as that was his second two-touchdown game of the season, his first since Week 1 against the Titans. Hopkins has already tied his touchdown total from last season, and in 22 games with the Cardinals he’s caught 141 passes for 1,774 yards, averaging 12.6 yards per catch.
As for Watt, whom the Texans released this past offseason per Watt’s request after 10 years with the franchise, in his first year in Arizona he has nine tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.
Watt is the greatest player to ever play for the Texans franchise, making a Hall of Fame career with the team, but now with the Cardinals and a 6-0 start, this could be his best shot of his career to win a Super Bowl championship.
Watt’s sack and forced fumble came this past Sunday vs. the Browns, so he might be warming up for when Davis Mills and the Texans visit State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
It is going to be an strange situation, but the Texans and Cardinals are on completely different paths this season. Watt left the Texans because they are rebuilding and years away from being a contender. Watt joined the Cardinals because they are built to win now.
Hopkins has been a big part in making the Cardinals Super Bowl contenders, so this upcoming Week 7 game isn’t going to be easy for Houston, and it could be a sixth straight loss.
Though it is tough watching Hopkins play for the Cardinals, his success is well-deserved and it is the folks who pay the checks for the Texans fault he’s now longer on the team. Houston hasn’t been the same since Hopkins was traded, and this Sunday will be a harsh reminder of that.