5 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers at Texans in Week 3

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

Carolina Panthers defense gives up 0 touchdowns

The Carolina Panthers’ hot start begins and ends on the defensive side of the football. Phil Snow’s unit ranks No. 1 in total defense so far in 2021. They are giving up an average of 190 yards per game.

This group has conceded 21 points in total this season and all of those have been scored in the second half of the first two games.

The Houston Texans will come into this week’s game heavily relying on their rushing attack. They tout several veterans in the backfield in Mark Ingram III, Phillip Lindsay, and David Johnson who could all make a difference.

Ingram will be the main rusher as he leads the pack with 126 rushing yards. Enter the fact the Texans will be starting a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start, Houston won’t have Davis Mills throwing around the ball too much.

The Panthers have allowed just 93 rushing yards in 2021, so the Texans will have some issues getting that ground game rolling.

If the Texans do at some point decide to air it out, Carolina is giving up just 143 passing yards a game.

If things couldn’t look any better for the Panthers, this week they will welcome nickel corner A.J. Bouye, fresh off his suspension. That will put Dante Jackson and Jaycee Horn exclusively on the outside and provide Snow with even more possibilities in terms of scheme deployment.

Early in the season, it has taken a turnover by the Panthers’ offense or a long drive to score on this unit. I don’t see that happening with Mills making his debut on short preparation time.

With Carolina potentially lighting up the scoreboard, at some point, Houston’s rushing attack will have to cease.