While this may not be the most exciting match-up on the docket, the game does provide some interesting story lines. The Arizona Cardinals have begun to find some rhythm behind Carson Palmer, while the Houston Texans find themselves exercising their third-string quarterback option with some success.
Both teams have a long way to go to be contenders in their respective divisions, but Arizona is headed in the right direction, Houston is not. But just as the Cardinals have found a steady option at quarterback, Case Keenum is making his case to be that guy for the Texans.
Going into our 10th week of action, here's what to expect in this game:
1. Matt Schaub has seen his last playing days in south Texas.
The Texans find themselves in the fortunate position of having the heir apparent to a failing veteran. Case Keenum, though not well-known, has a solid history of leading a potent attack and possesses the tools to succeed at this level. He is the answer to the Texans' woes and has already begun to mesh with an offense that is chock full of potential. Shaub has effectively played himself out of a job, and probably is set to join the ranks of the perennial back-up.
2. Arizona effectively passes the running torch to rookie Andre Ellington.
Coming off a bye week, the Cardinals reward Ellington with the bulk of the carries based on his 154 yard performance the previous week against the Falcons. 10.3 yards per carry may be a tough act to follow, but big yards and another touchdown will make opposing defenses take notice of this kid. The defense may be the key to them winning games, but Ellington has the ability to carry this team.
3. Arizona wins this game going away.
Case Keenum will continue to improve, and Ben Tate is good option if Arian Foster can't go because of injury issues; but Palmer and his receivers will have their way with the defense and Ellington will spell the passing game with another great performance on the ground, enabling the Cardinals to wow the home crowd with a five-TD smashing of the Texans.
Arizona will improve to above .500, which is a refreshing change for a franchise that has struggled to find its identity since the glory days of Kurt Warner. And with the new and imroved running game in tow, there is less pressure on the defense to play the hero. With improvement in all facets of the game, Arizona is licking their chops for the opportunity to challenge the Niners and Hawks for supremacy in the NFC West once again.