The Houston Texans will be hoping to halt a three-game losing streak when they host the Arizona Cardinals at NRG Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Houston is coming off setbacks against Seattle, Indianapolis, and the Rams. The Cardinals have alternated losses in wins this entire season. They are 4-5 and have not yet won or lost consecutive games.
Savage under center
Houston has a quarterback problem. But with Deshaun Watson out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Texans really cannot do much about their current situation. As such, Tom Savage will be back under center in Week 11 when Houston visits Arizona. Head coach Bill O’Brien confirmed as much earlier this week. O’Brien is taking the blame for his team’s offensive issues, but he did say that Savage needs to work on ball security and reads, and the rest of the players on offense must do more to help him. The Texans at least got a big game from DeAndre Hopkins last week in a 33-7 loss to the Rams (seven receptions for 111 yards). No other pass-catcher, however, had more than 40 yards. Savage threw for 221 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice and lost two fumbles.
”To be honest with you, it’s not on the quarterback when [we] put up seven points,” O’Brien said. ”It’s on me…. It starts with coaching. We’ve all got to coach better, starting with me, but it’s never about one guy; it’s never been about one guy. Football’s about 11 guys trying to do the right thing on every play.”
Houston isn’t the only team in the NFL with a quarterback issue. In fact, it isn’t even the only team in this game with a quarterback issue. For Arizona, Carson Palmer is done in 2017 and now Drew Stanton is also injured. The latter sustained a knee injury during last Thursday’s loss to Seattle. As such, it appears that Blaine Gabbert will start against Houston. The Cardinals also brought back Matt Barkley on Monday. They traded for Barkley prior to the 2015 season and he was on the 53-man roster for every game but never played. He was released following the 2016 preseason.
Arizona has been having its fair share of problems moving the football of late. Head coach Bruce Arians’ team has not scored more than 20 points in any of its last three contests. With a bye week having come during this stretch, the Cardinals have not scored more than 20 points since Oct. 15. They have scored more than 20 points only twice this entire season and just once since Week 1. Houston is coming off a 22-16 loss to Seattle in which it rushed for a total of 34 yards.
The Arizona Cardinals are:
- 14-4 ATS in their last 18 on the road against teams with losing home records
- 7-1 Under in their last eight overall
- 4-0 Under in their last four road games
The Houston Texans are:
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against teams with losing records
- 1-4 ATS in their last five home games against teams with losing road records
- 0-4 ATS in their last four November games
The Cardinals’ offensive situation is not exactly good, but they are arguably reeling less than the Texans. Houston is without J.J. Watt on defense and without Watson on offense. A once-promising season went of the rails with the injury to the rookie quarterback. In three games started by Savage this year, Houston is 0-3 and has scored a total of 28 points. Arizona is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 on the road against opponents with losing home records. The Texans are 2-5 ATS in their last seven against losing opponents, 1-4 ATS in their last five at home against opponents with losing road records, 0-4 ATS in their last four in November, and 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 after allowing more than 250 passing yards in their previous outing. Expect those trends to continue.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals -1.5
In addition to Arizona’s issues at quarterback, the team has also been unable to run the football. Perhaps that is because opposing defenses have not been forced to focus on the pass. The Texans have failed to reach the 100-yard mark on the ground in each of their last two games. In a recent 22-16 loss to Seattle, they gained 34 yards on 24 carries. The under is 7-1 in the Cardinals’ last eight overall, 4-0 in their last four on the road, 5-1 in their last six following an ATS loss, 4-0 in their last four after allowing less than 90 rushing yards in their previous outing, and 5-1 in their last six after rushing for less than 90 yards in their previous outing. It is also 5-2 in the Texans’ last seven against losing opponents and 6-1 in their last seven after scoring less than 15 points in their previous outing. Look for this one to stay under the total.