The Houston Texans are heading into a possible trap game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Texans are a surprising 5-4 on the season and are being led by C.J. Stroud, one of the league's best rookies of the year, the front-runner for the offensive Rookie of the Year award, and a dark horse for the NFL's Most Valuable Player award.
They're facing off with a 2-8 Arizona Cardinals team that just two seasons ago was a team with Super Bowl aspirations and two of the Texans greatest players suiting up for them on a weekly basis; J.J. Watt and Deandre Hopkins. Now the Cardinals are a team tanking so badly that they even sent away their backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who was so good that the team won twice under him. Despite an awful roster, they still won two games with Dobbs, so now that Kyler Murray is back, however, the team should be better than their 2-8 record suggests.
They're not going to turn around their season, rattling off seven wins, and make the playoffs, but they could pose to be a spoiler for a team like the Texans, who need every win they can get to not only keep pace in the ultra-competitive AFC but to also overtake the AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars.
To do that, however, they have to beat a team like the Cardinals who have played a lot of teams really well. They've had four losses by nine points or less so far and edged out a win over the Dallas Cowboys. So we're not saying this is a Super Bowl team if things broke differently in some games, we're just saying that this isn't the 2008 Detroit Lions or the 2017 Cleveland Browns.
This is a team that can beat you if you don't respect what they can do. Especially with Murray back under center. He's a nimble quarterback with a good arm and he can single-handedly take over a game if he's engaged and healthy. So the Texans need to bring their best effort if they want to win on Sunday.