1. The Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud sees a familair face on the Baltimore Ravens sideline
This one is obvious. With all of the resources invested in Will Anderson, the Houston Texans actually have more on the line with team captain C.J. Stroud, who they drafted ahead of Anderson. The franchise will come down the pass rush presence of Anderson and the passing acumen of Stroud. If these two fail, they will be rebooted again.
Still, we may see some fireworks, but the expectation is that he should be held in check. Stroud has a weird introduction to the NFL because it is a defensive coordinator he saw once before. Mike MacDonald beat Stroud when he was the Michigan defensive coordinator back in 2021.
Stroud played well, but the Michigan defense came up big. He also had better playmakers when you factor in Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. So, the task may be easier for MacDonald, who now has more talent, and also has more NFL experience.
Still, if Stroud is familiar with the looks he sees, and he is able to get the ball out quickly, it could be a closer game, and the Texans could control some aspects. The chess match between Stroud and MacDonald will be a major outcome for the Houston Texans this week.