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By ALAN FERGUSON

STATS Writer

 

(AP) -- While the Carolina Panthers shined defensively in the opener, the Houston Texans' formidable defense had a lackluster showing in part because of their quarterback's woes.

 

It's unclear, though, if the Panthers will have one of the league's top linebackers available as they look to send Houston to its first 0-2 start in seven years.

 

Carolina registered five sacks and forced three turnovers, including Josh Norman's interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter, in a 20-9 win over Jacksonville last Sunday. The Panthers kept the Jaguars off the scoreboard in the final 30 minutes even with Luke Kuechly leaving late in the first half because of a concussion.

 

"I think it speaks loudly about the leadership on the defense and the fact that we play great team defense," defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "Not taking anything away from Luke, but there is not one person that is more important than another on this defense."

 

Kuechly is listed as doubtful for the home opener and coach Ron Rivera said Friday he has yet to be cleared by an independent neurologist.

 

Kuechly, the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, is the league's highest-paid middle linebacker after signing a five-year, $62 million extension earlier this month. He had a NFL-best 473 tackles in his first three seasons.

 

"Hopefully he will be healthy and ready to get back," said A.J. Klein, Kuechly's likely replacement should he sit out.

 

Houston suffered a 27-20 loss to Kansas City last week and is looking to avoid starting 0-2 for the first time since dropping its first four in 2008. The Texans had won at least their first two games in each of the previous five seasons.

 

They struggled to slow down the Chiefs in the first half Sunday and trailed by what proved to be an insurmountable 21 points less than five minutes before intermission.

 

Reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt did his part with a team-best nine tackles - a career high-tying six for loss - and two sacks. Houston, though, allowed three touchdown passes - two of them coming after Brian Hoyer turnovers deep in Texans territory.

 

"In situations where we get put in a short field or something like that, it's our job to stand up and make a play," Watt said. "And we didn't do that today."

 

Hoyer, who had a 52.9 percent completion rate and was sacked four times, was replaced by Ryan Mallett with 6:10 remaining. Mallett led Houston to 11 points while going 8 of 13 for 98 yards and connected with DeAndre Hopkins on an 8-yard touchdown, the receiver's second of the day.

 

Mallett will make his third career start Sunday.

 

"You feel bad when it's one week," Mallett said. "But also you're excited to finally get out there and show what you've been working toward."

 

Arian Foster's timetable for returning from groin surgery remains uncertain, though he's been ruled out for this game. The Texans totaled 98 yards on 21 carries against Kansas City with starter Alfred Blue gaining 42 on nine attempts.

 

Houston tight end Ryan Griffin sprained his MCL last week and was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list, which will put him out for at least eight weeks. That leaves Garrett Graham and C.J. Fiedorowicz as the only tight ends on the roster.

 

Carolina backup offensive tackle Daryl Williams also sprained his MCL in the first quarter last Sunday and is expected to miss two to four weeks.

 

The Panthers started 2-0 last season and have done that in consecutive years once, in 2002 and '03.

 

The Texans are 2-1 all-time against Carolina, losing the most recent meeting 28-13 in December 2011 at Houston. Cam Newton sparked the Panthers to an early 21-0 lead with a pair of touchdown passes.

 

The teams' only meeting in Charlotte came in September 2007, a 34-21 Texans victory.

 

Source: Hosted.Stats.com

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Gotta say, I'm afraid to see just how inept these offenses are gonna be. I mean part of that will be the defenses doing great work, but just thinking about it makes me sick.

 

Give me the Texans, the Panthers missing Kuechly ends up being the difference.

 

:Texans: 20

:panthers: 18

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I'm going with the Texans here. I don't trust the Panthers and I think that Texans defense will do some damage to a very anemic Panthers offense. Luke's presence not being there will be huge as well.

 

:Texans: 21

 

:panthers: 13

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After Luke went out the defense allowed 0 points. AJ Klein fills in just fine.

 

Unless Ryan Mallet becomes the second coming of Jesus, or JJ Watt goes complete ham the Panthers are going to win this. The second option is likely, though, lol.

 

:Texans: 16

:panthers: 24

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This ones a toughy to pick who's gonna win but, gotta stick with the TEXANS

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Panthers declared DT Star Lotulelei, MLB Luke Kuechly, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, TE Richie Brockel, S Dean Marlowe, RB Brandon Wegher, and OT Daryl Williams inactive for Week 2 against the Texans.

Lotulelei is still working his way back from a foot injury, while Kuechly is out with a concussion. They're the Panthers' two best defensive players. Artis-Payne is a surprising healthy scratch. Williams has a knee issue.

 

 

 

 

 

Texans declared LT Duane Brown, RB Arian Foster, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, ILB Mike Mohamed, S Lonnie Ballentine, WR Jaelen Strong, and OG Oday Aboushi inactive for Week 2 against the Panthers.

Brown has a wrist injury. Chris Clark will start at left tackle, RT Derek Newton will move to left guard, and LG Jeff Adams moves to right tackle. Foster remains week-to-week after groin surgery. Strong is a healthy scratch.

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Mike Remmers just basically shut down JJ Watt. Panthers double-teamed Watt on about half the snaps, but Remmers held his own on the others.

 

Those were some ugly wins these past two weeks, fortunately next up we have an even worse team. :troll:

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Mike Remmers just basically shut down JJ Watt. Panthers double-teamed Watt on about half the snaps, but Remmers held his own on the others.

 

Those were some ugly wins these past two weeks, fortunately next up we have an even worse team. :troll:

Wasn't able to watch the game at work, but I'll catch my recording later tonight. Just judging from the stats I saw, this looks like it was a terribly boring and inefficient game by both teams. Congrats on the win though.

 

Texans o-line is in shambles, Arian is out, and obviously we already know about the quarterback issues. This has the makings of a 6-10 season as a best-case scenario for the Texans.

 

At least that could put them in a decent position to take a quarterback early in the 2016 draft... Fuck man! Two weeks in and I'm already feeling the doom and gloom.

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Panthers offense woke up for a bit in the second quarter, if the Texans don't get a pick off the deflection, it's likely 17-3 at the half.

 

Cam just took the team on his shoulders and carried them. Led the team in rushing and made some pinpoint throws. He still suffers from throwing it high, but his footwork is noticeably improved from last season.

 

And yet he can still do things like this:

 

BGC6wJZ.gif

Edited by Thanatos19

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After Luke went out the defense allowed 0 points. AJ Klein fills in just fine.

 

Unless Ryan Mallet becomes the second coming of Jesus, or JJ Watt goes complete ham the Panthers are going to win this. The second option is likely, though, lol.

 

:Texans: 16

:panthers: 24

 

Also that score prediction :D

 

We're 2-0, no matter how ugly the wins looked, we got them. And the South looks to be wide open.

 

Sure the Falcons are also 2-0, but they haven't looked much different to me. Everyone harping on Dan Quinn, but the Falcons/Eagles game was just classic Falcons. Julio is of course a beast, but Josh Norman is becoming a legit #1 corner. He shut down Julio twice last year and I look for him to be able to contain him in part.

 

The Saints look god-awful, Brees looks like he is regressing even more, they have zero running game and after all the preseason hype about them, (again), it is more than funny to see them once again imploding.

 

The Bucs got lambasted by the Titans, and yes they beat the Saints in Nawlins, but I think that's got more to do with the Saints woes than the Bucs being good.

Edited by Thanatos19

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