For the duel in the desert this weekend, a Houston Texans win comes down to how they play their cards.
The odds are stacked in the Texans favor when you consider that the Arizona Cardinals are the worst rushing team team in the NFL. It's no bluff that the Houston Texans have figured out how to effectively defend against the run. Winning on the road this Sunday in Phoenix will to some degree come down to whether or not Kurt Warner is flushed by the defensive line while his receivers are checked by a resurgent secondary. Admittedly, there's not a taller order at a free all-you-can-eat pancake promotion at IHOP!
There's no denying Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are two of a kind. They comprise the most impressive receiving corp in the NFL for people not familiar with Houston's Four Aces: Johnson, Walters, Anderson, and Daniels. But as an opponent, what their defense yields and its offense takes, the Cardinals are statistically exactly what has put the Texans in a position to have the best starting record in franchise history, save a goalline fumble by Chris Brown in the final moments of a heartbreaking home loss against a desperate Jacksonville. I know, I know... "ifs and buts, candy and nuts".
The NFL has only 4 teams more anemic on offense than Arizona. They can't run the ball, and the yardage totals through the air are down for Warner. Houston can run the ball, and 300+ yard games for Schaub are a constant threat against teams he faces.
Here's the river card for victory on Sunday: Turnovers. Straight up, the Houston Texans improve to 3-2 if the hand they play starts and ends with their own hands ensuring ball security.
And from the reports of lagging ticket sales in Tempe, it appears they won't face a Full House.