4 crucial matchups to watch during Panthers at Texans in Week 3

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Carolina Panthers RBs vs. Texans LBs

While the Cleveland Browns may have one of the best rushing attacks in football, compiling 156 total rushing yards is mind-boggling in today’s NFL and the Houston Texans defense plays a large part in that.

This isn’t necessarily a surprise though as the Texans came in at a whopping 32nd in rush defense in 2020 and have given up 232 yards on the ground so far in 2021. The biggest contributor to that was the inability of anyone to wrap up and make a tackle.

I lost track of just how many tackles Nick Chubb was able to break.

Even with leaving more players in the box thanks to their 4-3 base scheme, the Browns were able to run right over the Texans whenever they needed the yardage.

This is something that should have Carolina Panthers fans excited with how Christian McCaffrey has been able to run over good defenses this year. But the person who should be the most excited of all is rookie Chuba Hubbard.

Hubbard hasn’t had the flashiest of starts to his career, mostly thanks to McCaffrey, but this Texans defense is the perfect opportunity for a bruising power back to pick up big numbers.

This is a game where I wouldn’t be surprised to see the former Oklahoma State Cowboy break the 50-yard mark for the first time. The only thing keeping those numbers down is having the best running back in the league ahead of him.

However, McCaffrey has always been more of a Scat Back than a power runner and that might give more opportunities for Hubbard to get down in the trenches and run over defenders. Especially since the team should take every opportunity to limit the punishment their best player takes.

This matchup is not one to watch for the typical nail-biting reason, more so just for a good time as the Texans have shown nothing to make anyone think they can contain McCaffrey or Hubbard in the last two years.

I expect big things.