This week's game at State Farm Stadium between the Cardinals and Texans looks one-sided on paper.
Arizona is 6-0 and Houston is 1-5 without a win since the season opener.
Neither team is looking at the matchup in that way, though, with Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray saying Wednesday that Houston is an NFL team with professional players who can win.
But the Texans understand that this will be a difficult matchup.
“Offensively, they got a lot of fire power," Texans head coach David Culley told the media this week.
"They have one of the best quarterbacks in the game, they have one of the best receivers in the game, they have a running game that is pretty good. . . . Defensively, they got some good pass rushers, obviously J.J. (Watt) being one of those. . . . Overall, I don’t see any weaknesses in that football team."
The Texans are in a transitional period with the roster as evident this week with the release of veteran edge rusher Whitney Mercilus and kick returner Andre Roberts.
They finished last year 4-12, but did not have their first-round pick due to a previous trade with Miami.
Injuries have not helped, as quarterback Tyrod Taylor went down in Week 2, which elevated rookie third-round pick Davis Mills to starter.
That being said, Culley mentioned that he is approaching this game the same he would against an 0-6 team, saying, "They are next team in the way. We’re 1-5 and we are just trying to get a win."
Several Texans defenders have been asked this week about defending Murray.
He had another strong performance last week despite not having head coach Kliff Kingsbury in his ear due to COVID-19.
“It reminds me of all the guys that you see in the league now that played quarterback in high school, just running around Lamar Jackson-like, can make any throw on the field and he can just wow you any time," cornerback Tremon Smith told reporters. "So, we’ve got to just keep him bottled in and just control his big plays, and I think we’ll be perfectly fine.”
Last week, Murray completed 20-of-30 passes and had four touchdowns. He did not make much of a mark on the ground, but he made critical throws on the move when needed.
“He’s an excellent thrower, baseball background, he’s accurate, but he’s probably the fastest guy on the field each week he plays," defensive coordinator Lovie Smith said this week. "He’s going to be faster than all the defensive linemen and most of the linebackers he’s going to play against."
The Cardinals mantra this season has been to go 1-0 and get a week better each game.
That does not change.
Arizona has dealt with a difficult schedule to this point and next week will be another challenge as it faces the 5-1 Green Bay Packers on a short week. But the team is fixated on this task and improving first and foremost.
"I see a team that plays hard, they're physical, they compete and there's no easy games in the NFL; we don't even have that mentality," offensive line coach /run-game coordinator Sean Kugler said Thursday. "We're coming to work trying to get better as a team each week."