After winning a tough game last week against the Jets on the road, the Houston Texans are looking to keep their perfect season in tact as they host the Green Bay Packers in a Sunday night game on NBC this week at 8:20 ET. Before the season the Texans were favored to not just win their division but to make a deep playoff run and be one of the top teams in the AFC when the playoffs started. They will look to make that a reality with another win this week against an unfamiliar opponent in the Packers.
The Packers come into this game ranked 15th defensively in the league allowing 230 yards a game passing and 114 yards a game on the ground per game. This should work in favor of the Texans who are a heavy run team, that uses the run to open up the play action pass throughout the game. Houston Texans RB Arian Foster has been big this season, averaging 106 yards and 1 TD a game rushing the ball. This week may be the same story for Foster. In the Packers 3 losses this season they’ve given up 294 combined rushing yards. It seems to be the formula to beating this team. Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels is also off to a hot start this year. Leading the team in receptions, yards, and receiving TD’s. A lot of this is due to the coverages teams are showing WR Andre Johnson. Daniels who has always been a consistent target for Texans QB Matt Schaub will be blanketed over the middle of the field while the Packers are in their zone coverage schemes during this game. It should open up the outside for Johnson and give him windows to make big plays off double moves and routes that go deep over the top of the offense. Many have said Johnson has lost a step and might be on the decline with the slow start he’s having this year. With the moves made in the Green Bay defense this off season he could have one of the biggest games of the year thus far on Sunday. The last 3 weeks he’s faced off against some great CB’s outside like Antonio Cromartie, Champ Bailey, and Jason McCourtey. The Packers do still have Charles Woodson but with his move to safety Johnson should have some one on one opportunities outside against Trammond Williams and Sam Sheilds.
The defense will be looking to do the same thing that every other defense has done during their wins over Green Bay this season, get to Aaron Rodgers and get him to the ground. Through 5 weeks Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 21 times. The Texans defense led by Wade Phillips will be hoping to up that number if the offense gives them a lead to play with during this weeks game. DE JJ Watt trails only Clay Matthews in sacks this season with 7.5 and he’ll be looking to take the lead outright this week in a head to head match up. Watt who’s been a beast this year knows with the season ending injury to ILB Brian Cushing the whole defense will have to step up their game this week and the rest of the season to keep the Texans not only undefeated but among the leagues top teams. OLB Connor Barwin, who led the Texans in sacks last season with 11.5 is still without a sack this year. This coulf be a good game for him and fellow OLB Brooks Reed. The Packers have shown they have a problem blocking speed off the edges all season long and speed is what the Texans have outside. If the Texans force the Packers to throw the ball for most of this game they’ll be right where they want to be. JJ Watt will be looking to get into Rodgers passing lanes and disrupt some of his throws. The Texans secondary has been great at converting tipped balls to turnovers all season coming up with 3 INT’s off tipped passes thus far through 5 games.