The Green Bay Packers return home on Sunday to face off against the AFC South leading Houston Texans. Green Bay will need to win, yet again, to keep up with the Detroit Lions who have a two-game lead in the NFC North. The Texans are reeling after losing their previous two games. Looks like the Packers caught these division leaders at the right time. Here are three ways the Packers can continue to “run the table”:
Bring Down Brock
Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler has had a tough first year. In fact, he has thrown more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (12). Though this team sits ahead of the rest in the AFC South, there is still concern from the fans and organization that they may have spent a bit too much on this young quarterback.
His 13 interceptions as the Texans’ starting QB are tied for most in the NFL. He hasn’t had much success throwing downfield, completing only 2 passes of 40 yards or longer and averaging just 5.8 yards a completion.
Osweiler is coming off his worst performance of the year against the San Diego Chargers, in which he threw three interceptions and ended the day with a QB Rating of 45.6. This is a golden opportunity to capitalize on a young quarterback and continue their success in the turnover game.
Green Bay had one of their best defensive games on Monday Night against the Philadelphia Eagles, registering four sacks and one interception. If Green Bay can keep the turnover ratio on their side, it should be another great game for a defense that is getting healthier each game.
Houston is 29th in total offense and 31st in Passing. Those are numbers that any defense likes to see.
Attack First. Run Second
Green Bay has had an uncharacteristic slow start to each game this season, except for last Monday night. Aaron Rodgers came out firing and led the Packers on consecutive touchdown drives to start the game. Green Bay has got to set the pace early in the game and take control.
Once Green Bay is up and able to, they need to get the run game going. James Starks, is 30 and a serviceable 3rd down back. That’s where it ends. He is not the every down back we need. This is where newly acquired Christine Michael can come in and get his touches.
While with the Seattle Seahawks, Michael averaged 4.0 yards per carry behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Behind the Packers offensive line – which allowed Eddie Lacy to average over 5.0 yards per carry – Michael should flourish. He might just be what we need to keep pushing into the playoffs.
Steer Clear Benardrick
The Houston Texans defense is without a doubt the strong suit of this team. In their last four contests, this defense has allowed an average of 20.5 points per game against the Lions, Jaguars, Raiders, and Chargers.
In their most recent game, Houston held the Chargers to 21 points after they came in averaging 29.2. It was the Texans offense that failed by only scoring 13 points against a San Diego defense that had been allowing 27.8 points per game.
This defense is led by Benardrick McKinney. He leads the team in tackles with 101 and he also has four sacks. He is the only player in the NFL that currently has over 100 tackles and four sacks. If Green Bay wants to win they must account for him at all times.
The offensive line for Green Bay has been the MVP of the team so far. After All-Pro left guard Josh Sitton was sent packing and right guard T.J. Lang went down with an injury, it looked bleak. But players have stepped up and have exceeded all expectations. Expect the same this week against Houston.
To win in Green Bay, Houston’s defense must play a clean, disciplined game without any missed or blown coverages. Green Bay’s offense is beginning to click and will continue to improve. The game really comes down to Green Bay’s offense and Houston’s defense. Because on the flip side, Houston’s offense is abysmal and Green Bay’s defense – besides last Monday – has shown little to be desired.
Green Bay’s offense will be too much for the Texans defense to handle without J.J. Watt. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will continue their push to the playoffs with another win over a lackluster division leader in the Houston Texans.
Green Bay – 42
Houston – 20