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coleryan
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Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals: Preview and Pick

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On 11/05/2013 05:20 PM in NFL
Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals: Preview and Pick

The Houston Texans have had a difficult year. Last Sunday night, they blew a double digit lead to the Indianapolis Colts and lost their coach to health concerns. With all of the commotion surrounding the team, they still have to get prepared this week when they travel to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are on the verge of being a playoff team, but they can’t afford to lose this game against the Texans.

Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals Odds

The opening NFL point spread for this game has the Cardinals listed as a three point favorite. The Cardinals are a very good home team, but the betting public is still willing to back the Texans as just over 53 percent of the early wagers are on the road team. This action has yet to cause a line move and the line can still now be found at (-3) at several of the top rated online sportsbooks.
The Texans are playing much better since they made a change at quarterback. Case Keenum had success stretching the field Sunday; 13 of his 20 completions traveled more than 10 yards downfield. He had two touchdowns on such throws (both to Andre Johnson), matching the season total of Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates. - Andre Johnson had seven receptions on passes traveling more than 10 yards downfield Sunday, matching the most such catches he has had in a game since 2006. After a monster first half, the Texans turned away from Andre Johnson in the second half as they blew an 18-point lead in the second half. This cost the Texans the game and they will need to adjust their game plan this week if they hope ot beat the well rested Cardinals.

The latest football betting trends for this game reveal that the Texans are in a tight spot on this road trip. The Texans are 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 games following a loss, -5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. The Cardinals are 5-0 ATS when playing a team with a losing record, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on grass, but they are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.

Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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11/06/2013 02:02 PM
The Houston Texans have named defensive coordinator Wade Phillips interim head coach while Gary Kubiak recovers from a transient ischemic attack he suffered this past weekend.

Phillips took over Houston's head-coaching duties after Kubiak collapsed while leaving the field at halftime of Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Kubiak said in a statement Tuesday that he will make a full recovery but isn't sure when he will return to work.

Phillips, 66, has coached on some level since 1969. He has been a head coach for the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and most recently with the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent three and a half seasons.

Phillips was fired during the 2010 season and took over as Texans defensive coordinator at the start of the 2011 season.

When he came to Houston, Phillips orchestrated one of the most dramatic turnarounds in NFL history with a Texans defense that was one of the worst in the league in 2010.
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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11/06/2013 02:04 PM
This Sunday, in Arizona, the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals will meet for the third time in their franchises history, the first time since the 2009 season.

In their brief history against each other, the Texans and Cardinals are each 1-1 with the Texans winning the first game on Dec, 18, 2005 by a 30-19 score. The Cardinals won the second meeting on Oct. 11, 2009 by a 28-21 score.

In the ’05 meeting it was David Carr who was the Texans’ quarterback, as the former No. 1 overall pick was 22-of-33 for 150 yards passing with no touchdowns.

The three touchdowns in the game came from running back Jonathan Wells with two, and one touchdown from Vernand Morency on a 25-yard run in the second quarter. In fact, all three touchdowns in that game by Houston came in the second quarter.

The rest of the Texans’ scoring came from field goals by Kris Brown who made three, as Houston had 24 of their 30 points scored in the second quarter.

In the ’09 loss in Arizona, the Texans scored their 21 points in the second half with two touchdown passes from Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson in the fourth quarter. The third quarter score was off a 1-yard run by Chris Brown.

The players in this upcoming game have changed some since the ’09 game with Case Keenum now the starting quarterback for the Texans and Carson Palmer now under center for the Cardinals. Kurt Warner was the Cardinals quarterback in the ’09 game.

There have been other changes since the ’09 game, but one constant for the Texans is Andre Johnson who is coming off his best game of the season in Week 9 where he had nine receptions for 229 yards and three touchdowns.

Two previous meetings have been competitive, and I look forward to this third meeting being in the same category.

This should be a fun one to watch.
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11/07/2013 01:43 PM
As if trying to avoid the longest losing streak in team history isn't tough enough, the Houston Texans must attempt to do so without their coach and perhaps their star running back as well.

With ailing Gary Kubiak out indefinitely and the status of Arian Foster uncertain, the visiting Texans look to avoid a seventh straight defeat Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Kubiak collapsed while suffering a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or mini-stroke, while jogging off the field at halftime of Houston's 27-24 loss to Indianapolis last Sunday night. Without their coach, the Texans were outscored 24-3 in the second half en route to matching the club record for consecutive losses.

The 52-year-old Kubiak was released from the hospital Tuesday and is expected to make a full recovery, but when he will return to the field remains uncertain.

"I've been through an ordeal and my focus now is to get back to good health," Kubiak said in a statement released by the team.

Serving as interim coach, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will try to help the Texans end a disastrous slide during which they've scored 20 or more points twice and allowed an average of 28.7.

Houston yielded 19.0 points per contest while going 22-10 and winning the AFC South the previous two seasons.

"It's been frustrating, especially after the past two seasons and the expectations," receiver Andre Johnson said. "But if you don't go out and play the way you're supposed to play you're not going to win. And we didn't do that so that's why we haven't been winning ... somehow some way we've got to go out and fix the mistakes we've been making and try to win a game."

After topping the 100-yard receiving mark twice and not scoring over the first seven games, Johnson caught nine passes for 229 yards and three TDs against the Colts.

Case Keenum has been a nice surprise for Houston, throwing for 621 yards with four TDs and no interceptions in two starts since replacing the benched Matt Schaub. However, the Texans have managed one touchdown while being outscored 94-19 after the first half of the last six games.

It's uncertain if Keenum will be handing the ball off to Foster, who departed after Houston's first possession last Sunday with a back injury. Foster, who has rushed for 542 yards, left the Texans' previous game at Kansas City on Oct. 20 with a hamstring injury after running for 11 yards on four carries.

Backup Ben Tate rushed for 81 yards on a season-high 22 carries against the Colts despite dealing with a rib injury.

After giving up 284 yards on the ground in consecutive losses to San Francisco and Seattle, Arizona (4-4) held Atlanta to 27 during a 27-13 victory in its most recent contest Oct. 27.

The victory took the Cardinals into the bye week, and they've come out refreshed and confident.

"We take a short-term look at long goals and then get back to the process of making sure we win this Sunday and forget about adding things up," coach Bruce Arians said. "We'll add them up in late December."

Rookie Andre Ellington ignited a running game that averaged 77.7 yards through seven games by rushing 15 times for 154 of the team's season-high 201 yards on the ground. He scored on an 80-yard run to help the Cardinals avoid a third straight loss.

Ellington has a team-high 333 rushing yards and averages 7.7 per carry, but he could share time if Rashard Mendenhall is ready to return after missing the last game with a toe injury.

"You want to have that one-two punch," Arians said. "Andre's kind of got his role cut out. We'd like to, as I said last week, hopefully get him into space a couple of more times in the ball game."

Mendenhall has three TDs, but has not rushed for more than 66 yards in a game this season. He's gained 53 and scored once on 19 carries in two games against the Texans.

Arizona star Larry Fitzgerald has been limited to six catches for 65 yards with a TD in two games since recording a season-high 117 on six receptions in the 32-20 loss to the 49ers on Oct. 13. He had 11 catches for 164 yards and three TDs as the Cardinals split their two previous games with Houston.

Fitzgerald and Johnson each scored two touchdowns during Arizona's 28-21 home victory over the Texans in their most recent meeting Oct. 11, 2009.
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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11/08/2013 02:26 PM
As much as everyone parrots the words, "It's just another game week," this time it's probably not.

Instead, the Houston Texans will head to Arizona for a Week 10 matchup with the Cardinals with the image of something far frightening in their heads than a jarring hit or an agonizing loss.

Houston coach Gary Kubiak was hospitalized following what doctor's termed a "mini-stroke" as he jogged from the sidelines toward the locker room at halftime of the team's 27-24 home loss to Indianapolis on Sunday night.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been named interim coach in Kubiak's absence, which is indefinite. Kubiak, a former NFL player, left the hospital Tuesday and anticipates a full recovery, but he's not at all certain of a return anytime soon.

"I've been through an ordeal and my focus now is to get back to good health," Kubiak said.

The loss to the Colts came after Houston had built a 21-3 lead and seemed poised to end a prolonged losing streak which instead has reached a franchise- record six games.

The team's 2-0 start to the season - which included wins over San Diego and Tennessee - seems a century ago and the two-year stranglehold Houston has had on the AFC's South Division appears all but complete as well.

"It's been frustrating, especially after the past two seasons and the expectations," receiver Andre Johnson said. "But if you don't go out and play the way you're supposed to play you're not going to win. And we didn't do that so that's why we haven't been winning. Somehow some way we've got to go out and fix the mistakes we've been making and try to win a game."

Johnson failed to score in the team's first seven games and exceeded 100 yards just twice before catching three TD passes from QB Case Keenum in the loss to the Colts and ending up with nine receptions for 229 yards.

Keenum started once when former No. 1 Matt Schaub was injured, then maintained the starter's role over Schaub thanks to a decision made by Kubiak. He's thrown for four TDs and 621 yards and not been intercepted in his two-game stint.

His arsenal is in question, however, after running back Arian Foster left the Colts game with a back injury after the opening possession. A game earlier, Foster was limited by a hamstring injury and ran just four times for 11 yards against Kansas City.

Foster is listed as questionable this week, while backup Ben Tate is probable with a rib injury he sustained while running 22 times for 81 yards in Indianapolis.

"I'm just going through grinding trying to do the best to my ability," Tate said.

The Cardinals seemed a perfect matchup for a run-heavy Texans team after allowing nearly 300 combined ground yards to San Francisco and Seattle, but Arizona tightened its belt and held Atlanta to only 27 yards in a 27-13 defeat before last week's bye.

"We take a short-term look at long goals and then get back to the process of making sure we win this Sunday and forget about adding things up," coach Bruce Arians said. "We'll add them up in late December."

The Cardinals also ran a little bit themselves against Atlanta, with rookie Andre Ellington going for 154 yards in 15 carries - including an 80-yard TD - as part of a composite 201-yard team effort.

Ellington has averaged 7.7 yards per carry thus far and will share the load if feature back Rashard Mendenhall, who missed the Atlanta game with an injured toe, is back. Mendenhall is listed as questionable for Sunday.

Mendenhall has scored three times, but not rushed for more than 66 yards in a game. In two career meetings with Houston, he's run for 53 yards and scored once on 19 carries.

"You want to have that one-two punch," Arians said. "Andre's kind of got his role cut out. We'd like to, as I said last week, hopefully get him into space a couple of more times in the ball game."
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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11/08/2013 02:26 PM
Unleash the beast.

Because the running backs - Foster and Tate - are both hobbled, it seems a perfectly logical time for interim coach Phillips to take the wraps off the team's newest quarterbacking toy. Keenum threw effectively down the field and made plays with his legs early on against the Colts, and it'll be interesting to see what he does in that mindset for 60 minutes.

Rotate the runners.

Because Ellington is a home-run threat each time he carries the ball and Mendenhall is more of a bruiser, Arians has the luxury of being able to play his strengths in terms of when each man is used. The Texans have had a hard time stopping anyone in the run game, so it seems like a good chance for both to compile some numbers.
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11/08/2013 06:57 PM
The Texans won’t have running back Arian Foster (back) in the desert, leaving Ben Tate (ribs) to handle the job. Ten other Texans join Tate with probable designations.

Wide receiver Brittan Golden (hamstring) won’t play for the Cardinals and tight end Rob Housler (groin) is questionable to play.
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