The 4-4 Arizona Cardinals will host the 2-6 Houston Texans at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday afternoon. For the 80th straight contest at the stadium, it will be a sellout. The Cardinals are coming off a bye week and a 27-13 win two weeks ago over the Atlanta Falcons. The Texans have lost six straight games and are desperate to get back on track.
Let's take a look at the matchup between the two.
The Texans are a bit of a statistical anomaly. They are eighth in total offense (yardage), while the Cardinals are 29th, but they have scored only 146 points. Arizona has scored 160. Likewise, Houston has the number one overall defense in terms of yards, but have given up 221 points. Arizona's 13th-ranked squad has allowed 174 points in eight games.
Obviously, the difference is turnovers. Houston is a -11 on the season with their turnover ratio. Arizona is +1, and that is even with Carson Palmer having thrown 14 interceptions himself.
Houston has been hurt by untimely turnovers and turnovers that score. Opponents have scored seven touchdowns on returns. They gave up a pick-six in five straight games. The defense has only created five turnovers. Arizona has created 19.
Houston averages almost 394 yards of offense per game. They only score just over 18 points. Arizona only averages 314 yards per game, but scores 20 per game.
In terms of pass rushing and pass protections, both teams are similar. Arizona has allowed 23 sacks and has sacked opposing quarterbacks 23 times. Houston also has given up 23 and has sacked the quarterback 20 times.
Arizona will face Houston's Case Keenum at quarterback, who has had a memorable start to his career. In two games, he has thrown for four touchdowns and no interceptions and has an average of 10.53 yards per attempted pass.
There is very little history between the teams. It is only the third time in the regular season they meet. They played in Houston in 2005, when Houston won. Then, in 2009, the last time they played, Arizona came away with a home victory. Ironically enough, much like the Texans' 2013 losses, Arizona won in 2009 on a Matt Schaub pick-six. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted a pass and returned it 49 yards with just over two minutes left in the game to give Arizona a 28-21 win.
The Texans have one former Cardinal. That is defensive lineman Antonio Smith, who left the Cardinals after the 2008 season. he was drafted by Arizona in the fifth round of the 2004 draft.
Arizona has right tackle Eric Winston as their only former Texan (player). He played 92 games from 2006-2011 for Houston.