HOUSTON -- Fans of the Houston Texans already know that the David Culley era will begin at home Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. And we think the Texans are heading to Arizona in Week 7. (Yes, to see J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins.) Now, another team will enter in the realm to September 30.
The Texans will play host to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football in Week 3, according to The Athletic's Joe Person. That will be the first of a two-week stop in the Lone Star State for the Queen City franchise as they will face Dallas in Week 4.
Houston has not played Carolina since the 2019 season, a matchup that the Panthers won 16-10. Houston struggled to move the ball offensively while Kyle Allen somehow prevailed under center.
Depending on how the preseason will go, Houston could elect to give third-round pick and hopeful franchise starting quarterback Davis Mills a chance to start. For Tyrod Taylor, he was pulled due to in Week 3 during the 2018 season in favor of No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield on Thursday Night Football against the New York Jets.
Mayfield went 17-of-23 passing for 201 yards to help the Browns end a 19-game losing streak. Could deja vu happen again in 2021?
Carolina will be hopeful its new addition of Sam Darnold will be enough to help them compete this season. The 23-year-old was traded from the Jets for a 2021 sixth-round pick and 2022 second-round and fourth-round picks.
In his lone start against Houston, Darnold went 24-of-38 passing for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a 29-22 loss.
All-time the Panthers lead the series over Houston, 3-2 and currently are on a three-game winning streak. Houston finished last season 4-12, ranking third in the AFC South.
The rest of the 2021 NFL schedule will be released at 8 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN and NFL Network.