Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Panthers Looking to Build on Win

Sharon Thorsland
September 27, 2019 - 11:42 am

The Panthers are looking for their second win of the season when they take on the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

For the second straight week, it will be Kyle Allen starting at quarterback in place of the injured Cam Newton.

Allen led them to a big win over Arizona last week, and the Panthers are looking to build on that momentum versus a very talented Texans team.

The defending AFC South champs are 2-1 on the season after a come from behind win over the Chargers last week, their only loss coming in a wild game in New Orleans.

The Texans have plenty of talent on offense, starting with a pair of former Clemson Tigers.

Third-year quarterback DeShaun Watson and All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins are what makes this team go.

Watson is a dual-threat who has thrown for 778 yards with six touchdowns with just one interception.

One thing to look out for though – Watson was sacked 62 times last season, that led the league, and he's been taken down 12 times already this season.

And of course the Panthers racked up eight sacks against the Cardinals last week, so they're no doubt licking their chops!

Hopkins is Watson's go-to guy, he caught 115 passes last season and has 218 yards and a pair of scores this year.

“He's strong,” said Panther linebacker Luke Kuechly. “He's super competitive – and the contested catch, he does it better than a lot of guys in the league. He plays hard all the time, and he's just a stud.”

The Texans also added former Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills to the mix, and they've got a home run threat in Will Fuller V.

They'll face a Panther defense that ranks second in the league allowing just 166 passing yards per game.

The Texans like to run the ball, they average 115 yards per game. That ranks 10th in the league, in spite of picking up just 39 yards against the chargers last week.

They've got a 1-2 punch in veteran Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson, who is also a great pass-catcher.

The Texans defense is missing some of its stars – pass rusher and former Gamecock Jadaveon Clowney was traded to the Seahawks and All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu took his talents to the Chiefs.

But they've still got J.J. Watt. The 3-time Defensive Player of the Year had 16 sacks last season and is the heart of this Texans defense.

He's getting plenty of help from All-Pro linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who has four sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception.

Veterans Tashaun Gipson and Jonathan Joseph anchor the secondary along with 2nd-year player Justin Reid (yes, he's the brother of Panthers safety Eric Reid).

“They're a good defense,” said Panther tight end Greg Olsen. “I think they're talented, they get to the ball, they've given some good offenses fits. It's going to be a challenge.”

These teams have only faced each other four times before, the Panthers winning the most recent two match-ups. They'd like to make it three in a row over the Texans and get to .500 on the season at the same time.

“The first win is always the most important,” said receiver Jarius Wright. “We've just got to string them together now.”​

Comments ()