The Panthers are looking to secure their first victory in a matchup between two rookie quarterbacks. The game will be covered by

The Panthers are looking to secure their first victory in a matchup between two rookie quarterbacks. The game will be covered by

This text was written by Clark Gerber, a contributor for WRAL Sports.

Houston Texans
Carolina Panthers
FOX | Sunday, October 29th 1:00 PM EDT

After their bye week, the Carolina Panthers are seeking a new beginning.

The Panthers are currently 0-6, making them the sole winless team in the NFL this season. They have faced difficulties on both offense and defense.

Thomas Brown, the offensive coordinator, will become the main play caller for the Carolina team. This change has the potential to greatly improve their offense and also frees up head coach Frank Reich to concentrate on managing the game.

However, this week, the subplot has been pushed to the side as the Panthers focus on a crucial game against the Houston Texans. They will face the rookie quarterback, CJ Stroud, whom they chose not to draft last year.

Although Stroud has performed well in his first six starts, the Panthers remain confident that drafting Bryce Young was the right decision for their long-term success.

Reich expressed his satisfaction for CJ, who has performed well in six consecutive games. He is confident that CJ will continue to excel in the future, but he believes that true evaluation of a quarterback or any player should be based on years of performance, not just a few weeks.

Young recognizes that people will inevitably compare his on-field performance to that of his close friend Stroud, but he chooses not to focus on those comparisons.

Young stated that they strive to focus on their own progress and be the best they can be, while also concentrating on what is within their control. They expressed their unwavering support for CJ, except for this upcoming weekend.

Although many fans will be focused on watching the quarterbacks, coaches caution that the Panthers cannot participate in the spectacle.

Carolina is focused on energy, effort, and execution as they aim to start fresh and secure their first victory of the season.

Reich stated that he believed the team returned with a positive mindset. The scores were 0-0 and 1-0, which holds true. With only 11 games remaining, our objective, like any other team, is to win each one. However, it’s impossible to achieve that all at once. Victories must be obtained one game at a time.


Game keys: Panthers vs. Texans

The Panthers have not ended a game with more rushing yards than their opponent since the first week. However, with Miles Sanders likely coming back, Carolina has a chance to break that streak and bring some equilibrium to their pass-heavy strategy. A strong running game is essential in countering Houston’s formidable pass rush and creating opportunities for deep passing plays. If the Panthers can accumulate 125 or more rushing yards, it would be considered a successful day for their ground game.

2. Big game from a receiver besides Adam Thielen Thielen has been terrific, posting four straight games with at least 70 receiving yards. The problem is, all other pass catchers have reached the 70-yard plateau just once combined. That was DJ Chark against Seattle, when Andy Dalton was playing quarterback. If Chark, Jonathan Mingo, Hayden Hurst or even Terrace Marshall Jr. can step up and hit the 70-yard mark on Sunday, Carolina will have a very good chance of getting its first ‘W’.

Encourage the Texans’ offense to exhibit patience. Out of all the teams in the league, the Texans have one of the most bold and daring offenses. The Rams are the only team that attempts more plays that are 5 or more yards downfield. Therefore, on Sunday, the Panthers must prioritize preventing deep throws and challenge Houston to either throw shorter or run the ball. CJ Stroud currently has the highest percentage of off target throws (23.2%) in the league, so if Carolina can limit his big plays and force longer drives with 10 or 12 plays, there is a higher likelihood of him making a mistake.

Numbers to know

The Panthers have been victorious in four consecutive matches against the Texans, highlighted by Cam Newton’s memorable front flip touchdown in 2015. The last instance of the Texans prevailing against the Panthers dates all the way back to 2007.

Bryce Young remains in last place in the NFL for yards per pass attempt at 5.3. Meanwhile, Texans quarterback CJ Stroud is ranked 4th in the league with an average of 7.8 yards per pass.

The Texans have the second highest pressure rate at 41.9%, but they only blitz 23.9% of the time which is the seventh lowest in the NFL.

The Panthers’ pass rush has the lowest pressure rate at 27.6%, in comparison.

The RushEPA for the Panthers defense is currently the lowest in the NFL, at -31.26. The Las Vegas Raiders follow closely with a RushEPA of -10.25.