GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers (4-1) play at the Houston Texans (1-5) on Sunday at NRG Stadium. Kickoff is at noon.
How to Watch
TV: FOX (1:00 PM ET): Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake (field reporter).
How to Listen
SIRIUS: 82 (GB), 133 (Hou) | XM: 383 (GB), 227 (Hou).
Packers Radio Network.
Referee: Clay Martin.
Series leader: Packers 3-1
Series streak: Packers have won last two.
Last game: Packers 21, Texans 13 in the snow on Dec. 4, 2016.
Last game in Houston: Packers 42, Texans 24 on Oct. 14, 2012.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers has 842 passing yards (280.7 per game) with 10 TDs vs. one interception for a 122.4 rating in three career games vs. Houston. He passed for 338 yards with six touchdowns in his only career start at Houston in 2012. He is going for his ninth consecutive game vs. and AFC South opponent with two-plus touchdowns passes. Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Tannehill are the only quarterbacks with 13-plus touchdowns and two-or-fewer interceptions.
Houston’s Deshaun Watson completed 28 of 37 passes (75.7 pct.) for 335 yards and a season-high four TDs vs. zero interceptions for a 138.9 rating in last week’s near-upset over undefeated Tennessee. He is aiming for his fourth in row with 300-plus passing yards, two-plus touchdown passes and a 105-plus rating. Watson has thrown 7 TDs vs. one INT for a 117.3 rating in his past three games against NFC foes. One favorite target is Randall Cobb, who caught 470 passes for 5,524 yards and 31 touchdowns for Green Bay from 2011 through 2018.
The Black Eye
The Packers are tied for last in the NFL three takeaways. Some of that is due to the massive decline in pressure applied on opposing quarterbacks.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine wants to see that production cranked up but doesn’t want his players selling out to make big plays only to allow them, instead.
“It’s just something that we constantly harp on,” he said. “And it’s not like we’ve seen it and like ok, it’s become a problem, guys are going out of structure. I mean one of the things that is central to our system is do your job, good things will happen. And everybody understand what their 1/11th is and make damn sure that they’re getting their job done before they look to potentially do anybody else’s. It’s a cliché. It’s frustrating to say, ‘Hey listen, it’s going to come,’ but we just keep pounding away, doing your job and hopefully the ball will come our way. But I think we have the guys that can do it. We proved it last year. But it’s something that if we want to get to where we want to go to that we need, as we all know how important turnovers are, we need to hold up our end. Our offense has done an outstanding job to date of protecting the football. But if we want to be a special team, we’ve got to hold up our end and get the ball away from the opponent.”
One look at the records shows that the Packers are a much, much better team than the Texans. However, the injury reports certainly level the playing field. The Packers will be without left tackle David Bakhtiari, probably will be without cornerback Kevin King and safety Darnell Savage, and might be without star running back Aaron Jones. That’s a lot of firepower. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson can attack that weakened secondary and defensive lineman J.J. Watt can attack the weak spot on the offensive line.
Texans 27, Packers 24. (Bill’s record: 4-1)