The hunt for a spot in post-season brackets forces franchises to put their best product on the field. Watching the playoffs from home is not an option. Especially, for DeMeco Ryans' unit. An abundance of success in the new campaign helped the Houston Texans assert dominance in Conference standings. They've exceeded win totals from previous seasons and have a shot to clinch the playoffs for the first time since 2019.
A Week 11 match-up against the Arizona Cardinals should be an easy victory for Ryans' group. Will the Texans remain focused on adding another victory to the win column?
Kyle Murray's presence will give the Cardinals a momentum boost against the Houston Texans
An ACL injury derailed the Arizona Cardinals season before it began. It forced Monti Ossenfort's front office to search for a replacement quarterback while Kyler Murray focused on recovery. Joshua Dobbs did his best to fill in for Arizona's franchise quarterback. His efforts were valiant but not enough to avoid a six-game losing streak.
It took the former first pick 11 months to return to the gridiron, but he made a difference. Murray led the Cardinals to a 25-23 upset win Against the Atlanta Falcons in his first game back. His 249 passing yards were noteworthy and helped Drew Petzing's offense move the ball downfield. The fifth-year veteran failed to find the endzone but did enough to secure a home win for his team.
Momentum from a well-earned win will give the Cardinals confidence heading into Sunday's exhibition. They have faith in their leader under center and believe he can succeed. Anything can happen in the NFL. DeMeco Ryans' team must prepare to destroy Arizona to keep their playoff dreams alive.
Houston Texans must repeat their Week 10 Performance
A well-balanced performance helped the Texans pull off a victory on the road last weekend. They defeated Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals with a successful Matt Ammendola last-second field goal. It was a monumental win for a rising AFC franchise. It displayed resilience and determination from the entire organization. DeMeco Ryans' and his coaching staff remained composed throughout the exhibition. They relied on role players to execute on both sides of the ball. X-Factors came through - resulting in the fifth win of the season.
C.J. Stroud will play a huge role this weekend. He's the glue in Bobby Slowik's scheme and continues to show why he deserves MVP consideration. This season, Stroud ranks 12th in passing (78.9) and third in passing yards (2,647). Assistance from Noah Brown (86.4), Nico Collins (83.2), and Tank Dell (76.2) rank Houston ninth in offensive ratings (77.5). It's the first time the Texans achieved offensive accolades in several seasons. They must continue to dominate in Week 11 to achieve another victory.
Stout defensive performances are the second ingredient in the Texans' winning formula this season. They are exceptional in pass coverage (11th) and are developing an impressive pass rush. Sheldon Rankings (93.1), Jonathan Greenard (72.5), and Will Anderson Jr. (68.7) lead Matt Burke's front seven. They create confusion in the pocket - resulting in multiple interceptions. Steven Nelson (71.6) and Shaquill Griffin benefit from the chaos. They are vital pieces of Houston's scheme and are playing well this season.
A win against the Arizona Cardinals will help the Houston Texans earn prime positioning in the AFC playoff bracket. They can win the remaining games on their schedule but must stay focused against weaker opponents. Trap games suck momentum from successful teams. DeMeco Ryans and his staff must handle business to escape an embarrassing loss on Sunday afternoon.
All statistics courtesy pff.com