The Houston Texans will head over to Carolina to take on the winless Panthers in an exciting matchup for Sunday.
While the Texans have a shot at the playoffs, the Panthers likely don’t. But this is still a battle between the two top quarterback draft picks from the most recent NFL Draft.
People will want to tune in.
While C.J. Stroud has looked better than Bryce Young to start the year, Stroud was also given more pieces to begin the year. Young was drafted first overall by the Panthers for a reason.
The Panthers stunk and were the worst team in the NFL last year.
Carolina is just as bad this year. However, any development out of Bryce Young this year will help fans be patient.
The Texans are sitting at -3 (-102) against the spread on the road for their game against the Panthers. Meanwhile, the total is stuck at 43, trending up from 41.5.
What can we expect out of the two rookie quarterbacks on Sunday?
Take a look at the Texans vs Panthers preview below.
Day/Time:Sunday, October 29, 1:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 a.m. PT
Location: Bank of America Stadium
Texans vs Panthers Preview
The Panthers aren’t just bad straight up. They also can’t earn wins against the spread.
The Panthers are 0-5-1 against the spread despite four of six games holding a spread number of no more than four points.
Carolina has recently been a double-digit underdog in their last two football games against the Lions and Dolphins. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Carolina couldn’t cover in either of those games, losing by 18 and 21 to the Lions and Dolphins, respectively.
In Carolina’s defense, those two games were on the road. They’re back on their home field now.
The Panthers have hit the Over and Under three times each this NFL season. However, they’re still looking for their first win of the year.
Meanwhile, the Texans are 4-2 against the spread this season. They started the season 0-2 against the spread but covered in their last four games as underdogs in each game. The Texans were underdogs in three of their previous four games and won outright. That’s how well they’ve played this pro football season.
On the other hand, the Under has hit in four of six NFL games. However, Houston has only won one game on the road this year.
Finally, the Panthers have won their last four meetings against the Texans. The Panthers covered the spread in all four games.
Houston’s Culture Change
Ryans played in the NFL from 2006-2015, with five seasons in Houston. After playing in 2015, Ryans became a defensive quality control coach with the 49ers in 2017. He eventually worked up the ranks and became the defensive coordinator for the Niners in 2021.
After putting the Niners on the map with one of the best defenses in the NFL, Ryans got the call to coach the Houston Texans and become the franchise’s next head coach.
He accepted and has already earned the same amount of wins as last year’s team. However, we’re just about halfway through the season. That’s how well he’s coached.
You can see how the Texans’ players talk about the locker room. The vibes are different. You can thank DeMeco Ryans.
Changes in Carolina
Like Houston, Carolina needed to make a change at head coach over the offseason. They elected to go with Frank Reich, who has a much longer and richer history as a coach. He began coaching as an intern in 2006 with the Colts and had the head coaching position with the Colts from 2018-2022. But when the Colts went a different direction, Reich latched on with the Panthers this season.
With a rookie quarterback in Bryce Young, Reich thought it would be best if he called the plays for the offense. So far, it hasn’t worked. The Panthers are winless and searching for answers.
Therefore, Reich stepped aside from calling plays and will allow offensive coordinator Thomas Brown to call the plays moving forward.
Any kind of change is good right now.
Brown came from the Rams, where he was an assistant to the head coach. He also coached the tight ends and running backs in seasons prior.
We’ll see if these changes in place will help Young and the offense perform better.
The Underrated Houston Secondary
There’s been plenty of talk about the Houston offense behind C.J. Stroud. It’s been terrific. But Stroud and the Texans are also playing complementary football.
For example. Stroud has only thrown one interception. If the offense struggles, the Texans can punt the ball away and let the defense get to work.
While the defense has struggled against the run, Houston can keep teams in front and not allow the big play. That’s ultimately because of the coverage in the secondary. Houston’s getting a solid push from the pass rush, and when there’s a third-and-long, Houston is getting off the field.
Meanwhile, Carolina’s pass protection has been dreadful. This gives us even more confidence that the Texans will succeed in the passing game defensively.
Carolina’s Mysterious Offense
Thomas Brown likely won’t start randomly calling different plays. It’ll be in sync with what Frank Reich has called previously. He’ll add his own sprinkle to it and try to create better concrete drives.
So, while Houston must prepare for new wrinkles, don’t expect Carolina to go crazy offensively.
Remember, the Panthers are still last in the NFL standings. No matter what is called on offense, the Panthers still have one of the least talented groups in the NFL. The NFL scores this season have proven that.
We’re backing many NFL point spreads this week. Per our Texans vs Panthers preview, the Texans have the more favorable matchup at -3.
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