Panthers vs Texans: The Houston Texans will travel to Bank of America Stadium to face the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 of the preseason. The game will air on NFL Network at 7:30 p.m. ET and fans can live stream the game on Watch NFL Network and the league’s mobile app.
It’s odd to see an NFL game on Wednesday night, but it’s the preseason, so anything goes at this point. Even though starters don’t usually play a lot in preseason action, Texans coach Bill O’Brien said, “Everybody that’s able to play will play.” Quarterback Tom Savage will start, but O’Brien said first-rounder Deshaun Watson and Brandon Weeden will play, too.
Houston is coming off a 9-7 season in which it won the AFC South. The Texans’ top-ranked defense soared without J.J. Watt, who missed most of last season due to back surgery. Watt will return, but Houston’s secondary took a huge hit due to the departures of safety Quintin Demps and cornerback A.J. Bouye in free agency.
The team added a couple of pieces to the defense in the draft, including fifth-round safety Treston Decoud and linebacker Zach Cunningham in the second round.
How to watch the Panthers vs Texans Wednesday night
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
TV: NFL Network
Announcers: Mick Mixon, Mike Rucker (Carolina); Kevin Kugler, Spencer Tillman (Houston)
Online: Watch NFL Network, NFL Moblie app
But this unit should be fine because it has a front seven that consists of players like Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus. Full NFL Schedule 2017
The Texans were terrible on the offensive side of the ball last season, particularly at quarterback. Brock Osweiler struggled out of the gate, and Houston sent him to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason. Then the team traded up in this year’s draft to select Watson with the No. 12 pick.
The Panthers, on the other hand, regressed in a big way last season. After surprising the football world with a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance in 2015, Carolina experienced the proverbial Super Bowl hangover by going 6-10.
Defense was Carolina’s calling card over the past few seasons, but that side of the ball looked off last season, ranking just No. 21 in the league. The offense was only slightly better. Quarterback Cam Newton threw for 3,509 yards to go along with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Those are still good numbers, but he didn’t look like his 2015 MVP self and posted the lowest completion percentage of his career.