Early Bird Breakdown Week 13 – Texans @ Packers
Hello and welcome back to Early Bird Breakdown. It’s week thirteen of the regular season for the Packers and they get to return home after a rough road trip. Before diving into the game, let’s look at the recap from last week.
Seemingly out of no where Green Bay’s defense emerged and played a physical and strong game against Philadelphia. Aaron Rodgers was incredibly efficient and Davante Adams had a very impressive game and looks like he is playing with confidence. Green Bay won 27-13.
Packers’ Offense vs Texans’ Defense:
The Texans bring to Green Bay the league’s 4th ranked defense, but they are not at full strength. While star defensive end JJ Watt has not been in the lineup since undergoing back surgery earlier this season, now the Texans will be without their second most talented pass rusher in Jadeveon Clowney who is ruled out with a wrist injury. Not only are the Texans hurt at getting to the quarterback, the way the Packers offensive line is playing it will be very difficult to get to Rodgers.
With Rodgers likely to be well protected without the Texans blitzing (and he always eats up defenses when they over commit) he should have throwing lanes versus the Texans. While the Texans secondary is more than talented enough to keep the game close, the Packers should be able to score 24-27 pretty easily, which with how bad Houston’s offense is should easily be enough.
It should be noted that Rodgers has been limited in practice this week, but there is no evidence his injury should keep him out of the game this week.
Packers’ Defense vs Texans’ Offense:
While last week may not be accurate to how the Packers defense will do against a truly strong offense, Houston is abysmal offensively so the defense should look good once again this week. The Texans are the second-to-last ranked total offense. Their free agent acquisition at quarterback Brock Osweiler appears to be a major mistake (as many assumed it would be when he signed such a lucrative deal). Despite having one of the best wide receivers in the league in Deandre Hopkins and a highly talented and explosive number two receiver in rookie Will Fuller, they have not been able to move the ball in the air. However, the Texans should have opportunities to have some open receivers, the question is can Osweiler get the ball to them.
The Texans do have a pretty strong running game, so Green Bay will have to clamp down on them to force Osweiler to beat them. Linebackers Blake Martinez & Clay Matthews are both questionable for the game and will be needed to help slow down running back Lamar Miller who is fifth in the league in rushing yards. Cornerback Damarious Randall is also questionable.
Kickoff will be around 34 degrees and a mix of rain and snow coming down with moderate wind. This should aid the Packers who go against a team used to a nice warm dome stadium.
Green Bay returns home after a bounce back win and I expect the streak to continue. The Texans have the wide receivers to burn the Packers secondary, but Osweiler is more likely to throw it out of bounds than to either Fuller or Hopkins, and if he gets it near a wide receiver it is just as likely it is going into the hands of a Packer. While Houston’s defense is great at full strength, they are under manned and should be able to be exploited. I expect the Packers win 27-17.As always, go Pack go! Stu Weis -Journalism graduate 2012, Carroll University