Carolina would visit Houston in 17th game of 2021: A look at the Texans vs. Panthers series history

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Mark Lane
·3 min read
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The NFL has not yet made it official, but the expectation is owners will vote to approve a 17th game for the 2021 season at their virtual owners meeting this week.

The way the formula stands, the entire NFC would visit the AFC in a same place finisher format emulating the inter-conference schedules of 2019. In other words, how it was in 2019 is how it will be across the league, but only as it relates to same place finishers.

In Houston’s case, that would mean the Carolina Panthers would return to NRG Stadium. Here is a look at the entire series history between the Texans and Panthers.

Nov. 2, 2003 at Reliant Stadium

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history-67-overall-texans-2002-inaugural-season

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

All it took was one turnover to ruin running back Stephen Davis' 153-yard rushing performance. Cornerback Aaron Glenn picked off Jake Delhomme inside the red zone to start the second quarter. That wasted trip ended up being the difference as the Texans beat the eventual NFC champions 14-10.

Sept. 16, 2007 at Bank of America Stadium

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

New starting quarterback Matt Schaub was outstanding, completing 20 passes on 28 attempts for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 120 yards and two scores as the Texans routed the Panthers 34-21.

Dec. 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The 10-3 Texans were assuredly headed to the playoffs while the Panthers were getting their feet wet with a rookie Cam Newton and first-year coach Ron Rivera. Newton outplayed fellow rookie quarterback T.J. Yates with two passing touchdowns against Yates' two interceptions. Carolina beat Houston 28-13.

Sept. 20, 2015 at Bank of America Stadium

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the season, it looked like the Texans just dropped another one, falling into an 0-2 hole. However, the 24-17 loss at the hands of the Panthers was part of a 14-0 start for the eventual NFC champions, who would finish 15-1. In retrospect, the Texans lost by a touchdown to one of the best teams in the NFL, and were starting Ryan Mallett at quarterback.

Sept. 29, 2019 at NRG Stadium

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texans-fall-10-spots-usa-today-nfl-power-rankings

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

This loss will always be bad, whether in context or in retrospect. Houston never led at any point against a team starting Kyle Allen at quarterback. The Texans also called a bizarre gadget play with DeAndre Hopkins throwing an interception inside the red zone. It was the type of loss that epitomized the Bill O'Brien era. As a result, Houston went into Week 17 with a 10-5 record and Kansas City, the projected No. 2 seed, entered with an 11-4 record. If Houston would have beaten Carolina, they would have been 11-4 and played their starters in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans, where a win would have delivered their first ever first-round bye in franchise history. Instead, the Texans fell 16-10. Ultimately, Carolina dropped to 5-7 and fired Rivera before fading to a 5-11 finish.

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