Although it's felt like three years since the Texans last took the field, it's only been a couple of weeks. But, it's time to get back on the gridiron and it's also time to dive back into the numbers - my By the Numbers for this week against the Carolina Panthers.
1 - It's only happened once. Well, tense matters. It hasn't happened YET, but it WILL happen on Sunday - the only time in NFL history that Overall picks #1, #2 and #3 will all meet in a game as rookies. #1 overall pick Panthers QB Bryce Young will face his good friend from back home #2 overall pick C.J. Stroud, but he'll try to keep far away from his college teammate #3 overall pick Will Anderson Jr.
3 - Stroud is currently in the top five in the NFL in three categories - passing yards per game, passing yards/attempt and passing TD to INT ratio.
276.7 - Stroud has been even more productive than his most ardent supporters would've expected at the beginning of the season. He's thrown for nearly 280 yards per game in his six starts.
8 - Okay, so it's not quite eight, but the Texans are giving up nearly eight FEWER points per game in 2023 than they did over the three seasons 2020-2022 combined. They're giving up 18.8 points per game in these first six games vs. 26.7 points per game in 2020 through 2022.
2 - Since Frank Reich became head coach in 2018, his teams have lost to the Texans just twice and haven't lost to the Texans since a Thursday night game in 2019.
2018 - the Texans won one, lost two
2019 - 1-1
2020 - Colts sweep
2021 - Colts sweep
2022 - tie game.
This is his first contest against the Texans as a Panthers head coach and it's the first since that tie to start the Texans season in 2022.
18.9 - Texans WR Nico Collins has taken the lead in the NFL with nearly 19 yards per catch.
3 - He's already set a season high with three touchdowns (11 games remaining)
547 - He's already set his season high in yards through six games.
8 - He's just eight catches away from tying his season high. Collins had 37 in just ten games in 2022. He has 29 in six games in 2023.
1 - Carolina Panthers WR Adam Thielen (that certainly takes a second to adjust to after a long career in Minnesota) is the only player in the NFL to have a game of 10+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards and 1+ receiving TD. In fact, he's had THREE in 2023.
4.0 - Panthers Edge Brian Burns leads the Panthers in sacks. The last time that the Texans faced Burns and the Panthers, it was on a Thursday night in 2021 and the star rusher had a sack, a TFL, a QB hit and one pass defensed.
Alright, that's going to do it for the numbers this week, thanks for reading and see ya on Sunday as the Texans look to equal their highest win total from the last three years…in week eight of 2023. Let's GO!!