Panthers at Texans How to Watch: TV Channel, Live Stream Info, Choices, What to Know for Thursday Night Football
It’s hard to believe that we are already in the third week. Tonight’s edition of “Thursday Night Football” sees the Carolina Panthers 2-0 take on the Houston Texans 1-1, who will lose their starting quarterback and start the third rookie. rounder Davis Mills in his place.
The Panthers would be among the most surprising 3-0 teams we’ve seen in recent years, but given the contours of this game, they seem to have a pretty good chance of getting there. Houston having already secured its first win is surprising enough to many NFL watchers, but the team could struggle to secure another in the coming weeks with Tyrod Taylor on the sidelines.
So how is this game going to move? We’re glad you asked the question, as we’re here to break down Thursday night’s game.
How to watch
Dated: Thursday September 23 | Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Site: NRG Stadium (Houston)
TV: NFLN | Flux: fuboTV (Click here)
To follow: CBS Sports app
Chances: Panthers -8, O / U 43
When the Panthers have the ball
Christian McCaffrey turned 59 total touches (45 rushing attempts, 14 receptions) into a total of 324 total yards. He didn’t score in Week 1 and only found ground once in Week 2, but was tackled at the 1-2 yard line last week. An absolute monster game is on the way, and it could very well be tonight.
The Texans gave up 4.6 yards per carry to the opposing full-backs (22nd in the NFL) and last week allowed the Browns running backs to combine four catches for 56 yards and one score. They have a 21.3% pressure rating, the lowest in the league, per TruMedia, so Sam Darnold should have plenty of time to find McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr. at any level. ground.
Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady does a much better job of putting Darnold in a position to succeed than Adam Gase, and Darnold is taking advantage of opportunities. He’s had a few silly throws here and there, but he’s also taking more risk further down the field than in the past, and he’s a lot more accurate with the ball now that he has wider throwing lanes and adequate protection.
The Texans cornerbacks could have their hands full with Carolina receivers, who are expected to provide a much more difficult test than the group they faced last week with Odell Beckham sidelined and Jarvis Landry the joining after just a few games.
Moore is in the middle of what feels like a breakout season, having joined Darnold on 14 of 19 passes thrown for 159 yards and a touchdown. (This is despite the Panthers barely throwing the ball past halftime last week.) Surprisingly, Anderson has yet to start despite having a pre-established relationship with Darnold since their time together in New York; it wouldn’t be surprising if they shake things up on Thursday night. Marshall was used quite often on short, fast throws to put the ball in his hands and let him try to play after the catch. Considering his physical advantages and Brady’s familiarity with the skills they learned during their days together at LSU, there’s likely some degree of confidence that he’s placed in the right positions to make plays. This should continue in this game.
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When the Texans have the ball
In the first two weeks of the season, the Panthers lead the NFL in the Football Outsiders defensive DVOA thanks to their near total saves from Jets and Saints infractions. They’re two units with a lot of gaps (offensive line for New York, non-skill position players Alvin Kamara for New Orleans), but it’s not like this Houston offense is anything to write home about.
Taylor supported the squad with very solid play for the first week and more of the season, but he is now part of the injured reserve. Mills, who played as a replacement for Taylor last week, will be center for the foreseeable future unless he struggles enough to require a move to Jeff Driskel, who was high this week in the active roster of the training team.
Mills was once a top prospect coming out of high school, but injuries limited him to just 13 starts at Stanford, in which he completed 287 of 436 passes for 3,468 yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Unsurprisingly, he appeared out of date last week against the Browns, completing just 44.4% of his passes at an average of 5.7 yards per attempt while throwing in a 2-yard touchdown pass and a pretty brutal interception where he targeted Andre Roberts on double coverage and missed well behind his receiver.
Mills was pressured on 52.6% of his throwbacks last week and could have a tough night on that front against Carolina, who put absurd pressure on 56.9% of the opponent’s throwbacks. despite one of his two games against one of the best offensive lines in football. In particular, Brian Burns expects to live on or near Mills’ lap all evening.
We ranked Burns sixth in our preseason list of the top 10 league rushers for the 2021 season, noting that a monster season could be on the way.
It’s certainly a bit of a projection, but I can’t help it. This guy is so talented. He has the fastest dropout in the league, according to Next Gen stats from NFL.com, and he’s already been very productive (16.5 sacks, 37 hits, eight tackles for a loss) despite only playing 43% and 71% of snaps in his first two seasons in the NFL. Now that the Panthers have added a little more talent up front to ease some of the pressure, Burns should have even more room to operate. He should continue to play more and more snaps. The 15-20 bag season is coming soon. This year could be.
Two weeks later, it looks like the season is unfolding. Burns rose to the Saints’ offensive line last week, just like he did against the Jets in Week 1. He already has two sacks, three hits and two tackles for a loss, and is one of 22 players in the league with seven presses or more. until there.
Brandin Cooks has been the No.1 passing game option for the Texans by far so far, and is likely to stay that way with No.2 option Nico Collins joining Taylor on IR. The Panthers have held opposing passing games largely in check for two weeks, but have yet to face a speed threat like Cooks. If the Texans can afford adequate protection from Mills, he might be able to hit Cooks on a field play.
Houston shuffled and tied four running backs, Mark Ingram seeing the majority of the litters, David Johnson working as a wide receiver, Phillip Lindsay doing a bit of both and Rex Burkhead seeing a handful of shots here and there. No one should over-test Carolina’s defense – especially not behind one of the league’s weaker offensive lines. There really doesn’t seem to be much chance that this attack will scare away what has been arguably the best unit in the NFL so far.
Houston Texans +8
Prediction: Panthers 27, Texans 13