The Texans HC outlines 5 Things to Watch at Panthers.

The Texans, with a 3-3 record, are heading to Charlotte this weekend to face the Panthers, who are currently 0-6. Both teams are coming off their bye weeks, and this marks their first regular-season meeting since 2021. As the kickoff at noon CT in Bank of America Stadium approaches, here are five things to keep an eye on:

  1. Stroud’s Strong Start Continuation – C.J. Stroud, the Texans’ quarterback, has been on fire with nine touchdowns and just one interception in the first six games of the season. He’s shown consistent improvement since his arrival in town shortly after the NFL Draft last spring. However, Stroud is determined to enhance his game, particularly by keeping his focus down the field and improving his progressions. Facing the Panthers’ defense, which has a knack for creating turnovers, will be a test for the rookie signal-caller.
  2. Tank Dell’s Return – Wide receiver Tank Dell missed the second half of the Week 5 game against Atlanta and the subsequent win over the Saints due to a concussion. But the rookie is back and ready to contribute, adding a new dimension to the offense. Offensive Coordinator Bobby Slowik emphasizes Dell’s speed and playmaking abilities, which have earned the trust of the quarterback and the coaching staff.
  3. Running Game Revival – In recent games against Atlanta and New Orleans, the Texans saw a resurgence in their running game. They’re looking to build on this success, with Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary forming a promising running back tandem. The offensive line’s blocking has been solid, and the team aims to improve their ground game further. Currently, the Texans are averaging less than four yards per carry, while the Panthers are giving up 4.9 yards per rush, making the ground attack a crucial aspect of the game.
  4. Self-Scouting and Coaching Changes – Before the bye week, both teams engaged in self-scouting, a common practice among NFL coaching staffs. While Carolina announced a change in play-calling responsibilities, with head coach Frank Reich handing the reins to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, the Texans also used this time to identify areas of improvement. Linebacker Henry To’oTo’o highlights the value of self-scouting in refining their game and rectifying past mistakes.
  5. Marquee Quarterback Matchup – The matchup between C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young is a headline event, as Stroud was the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Young was taken first. This marks the eighth time in the last decade that the first and second overall draft picks have faced each other, with the second overall pick’s team winning all seven previous matchups. Additionally, Texans defensive end Will Anderson, Jr., who was the third overall pick, played with Young and To’oTo’o at Alabama and is known for his disruptive abilities on the field. Young recognizes Anderson’s leadership and disruptive potential, making this a marquee matchup to watch.

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