Houston Texans (2-2) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Sunday October 11th, 3:00 p.m. (CST)
University of Phoenix Stadium
Kickoff Temperature: Dome
Line: Cardinals by 5.5
Trends: Texans have alternated wins and losses through their last six games; Cardinals have lost three of their last four games.
Three most important things for the Texans on defense:
1. Pressure Kurt Warner / Jam the receivers. If Warner has time and the Cardinals dynamic receivers get off the line freely, the Texans secondary will get picked apart all day long.
2. Tackle better. The Texans defense was solid last week, but it was against the Raiders. They must be able to bring both Tim Hightower and Chris "Beanie" Wells to the ground this week.
3. Force some turnovers. The Cardinals have been careless with the football this season, and the key to stopping that dynamic offense is to force turnovers.
Three most important things for the Texans on offense:
1. No turnovers. It seems simple, but if this team is going to go over .500 for the first time in a long time and win in the house of the defending NFC champs, they must play error-free football.
2. Exploit the middle. The Cardinals defense will give up some plays over the middle of the football field, and the Texans have the tools with Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, and Kevin Walter among others to exploit the advantage.
3. Throw to run. If the Texans can make plays in the passing game early, it will loosen up the Cardinals defense to give Steve Slaton some room to run.
What to look for:
1. Look for four or more turnovers. Both of these teams have been turnover prone this season and that trend likely won't end on Sunday.
2. Look for Larry Fitzgerald to have a huge day. There has been plenty of talk this week about who's the better receiver between Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson. More important than who's better of the two, the Cards have a better secondary and Fitzgerald should have a big day.
3. No fumbles by Slaton. Steve Slaton has pt the ball on the ground a lot this year, and the team has stressed ball security with him. Look for him to be sure-handed.
4. Big play by special teams. Both of these teams have special teams touchdowns to their credit this year and something big is likely to happen from "the forgotten units."
5. Look for Kurt Warner to go over 300. Kurt Warner is a future Hall of Fame quarterback and he's playing against a porous Texans secondary. We expect Warner to have a big day.