Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers struggled on offense last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars actually recorded 2 more total yards of offense than the Panthers (265-263 yards). The Panthers' receivers dropped some balls, the run game wasn't successful, and Cam Newton looked to be indecisive at times. But that didn't seem to matter because the Panthers still won 20-9. Their best offense was their defense. The Panthers defense recorded three turnovers, five sacks, and one touchdown.
The Panthers might of had a sloppy victory over the Texans last week, but their big loss was franchise linebacker Luke Kuechly. He left the game early with a concussion, and didn't return. Kuechly is the quarterback of the defense and has already been ruled out for this game.
The Texans are coming off of a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs 27-20. They decided to switch starting quarterbacks this week and go with Ryan Mallet. In 2012, Mallet was the backup quarterback to Tom Brady so he might of learned something. The Texans also have the best player in the NFL in J.J. Watt, and former first round pick Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans front seven is strong, but their defensive secondary got lit up by the Chiefs last week.
There is no way the Carolina Panthers are going to lose their home opener to the Houston Texans. J.J. Watt might be the best player in the NFL, but he can't play every position for them. The Texans are already without starting running back Arian Foster, and are now going with a new quarterback. Ryan Mallet has a big arm but has only averaged a 54.3 completion percentage for his career. The Texans' will have to rely on Mallet for offense because they won't be able to run on the Panthers' front seven. Can Ryan Mallet beat the Panthers' defense alone? No!
The only way the Texans have a shot at winning this matchup is if they are able to pressure Cam Newton, and cause turnovers. The Panthers' offensive line isn't exactly strong so Newton will have to get the ball out quickly, and use his legs at times to extend the play. As long as the Panthers can shut down the run game and play smart football, you can mark this one down in the win column.
By, Justin Raymond
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