David Culley thinks DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt will view Texans as just another opponent

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The Houston Texans will finally have to face the music for their huge personnel decisions on Sunday when they play the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.

Three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt each left the organization in successive offseasons. Then-coach and general manager Bill O’Brien dealt Hopkins in March 2020 at the start of free agency, and the Texans this season released Watt ahead of free agency 2021.

Texans coach David Culley doesn’t think that Hopkins and Watt will look at the Week 7 encounter with Houston as any sort of revenge game, but will take it as just another contest as the 6-0 Cardinals have bigger goals in mind than showing the organization they made colossal errors since January 2020.

“I think when you are 6-0 like they are and one of the best teams in football, I would look at it like we are the next opponent,” Culley said. “They are looking at the big picture of being a playoff team and moving on and we happen to be the next opponent in the way, although those guys have been here.”

As a prick to remind Houston sports fans of the loss of two faces of the franchise, the Texans also released a fan favorite going back to the Gary Kubiak days in defensive end Whitney Mercilus.

Said Culley: “You’re talking about two other guys who have been apart of this franchise just like Whitney has, but I don’t think that will be a factor at all. I think they are pros and are looking at it as the next opponent and we will go from there.”

The last time the Cardinals started the season 7-0 was in 1974 when they were in St. Louis. Meanwhile the Texans are on the verge of starting 1-6 for the second straight season.