The Green Bay Packers look to get back to their winning ways this weekend in a tough matchup against the undefeated Houston Texans.
Both teams are coming off weeks in which they received bad news regarding key players and injuries.
Green Bay found out that Cedric Benson will be out a majority of the season and could possibly be out for the entire season. The Houston Texans found out that star linebacker, Brian Cushing will be out for the season, following an injury in which he sustained a torn knee ligament on a hit he suffered Monday night.
The Packers injury hurts their developing running game, while the Texans injury is a big blow to their defensive unit.
Green Bay will try to fix their running back solution by trying all the different running backs on their roster. Alex Green did well filling in for Benson on Sunday so look for him to get some more work. Also look for Bradon Saine and James Starks to get work, and possibly even John Kuhn. The Packers will most likely just go with whoever has the hot hand.
The injury to Benson means that more pressure will fall on Rodgers to perform. Rodgers hasn’t played at the same level he did last season but he has shown flashes of it.
Houston’s defense is strong; they only allow 190 passing yards a game, so Rodgers has his work cut out for him.
The Packers best bet for their offensive is to do all they can to get a running game going with whoever and to let Rodgers take over when the team needs him to.
On defense, the Packers will have to do all they can to stop the Texans and all their weapons. The Texans offense is also very well balanced, which makes it difficult to focus on just one aspect of it.
Arian Foster is having himself another solid year; he already has over 500 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Matt Schaub has himself eight touchdowns and over 1,100 yards passing and the key-receiving duo of Owen Daniels and Andre Johnson have combined for over 500 yards and five touchdowns.
The Packers defense has to come up with some way to slow down this offense. Much easier said than done.
The Packers will also have to find a way to slow down JJ Watt. Watt has been unstoppable this season, 7.5 sacks, eight pass deflections and two fumble recoveries. Keeping Watt off the box score will be impossible but the Packers just need to make sure he doesn’t shut down the Packers offense all by himself.
This game looks like a long shot for the Packers but could be closer than some expect. The loss of Cushing really hurts the Texans defense and that helps the Packers struggling offense. But the Packers just don’t look to have enough to stop the Texans.
Green Bay will bring it against the Texans but it won’t be enough. The Packers will lose this one and fall to 2-4.
The Keys to victory
Figure out the running back situation – The Packers haven’t really made it clear who will be their featured back, so look for them to basically throw everyone at the Texans defense. The majority of the offensive production will fall on Rodgers but there needs to be a running game. It won’t be easy but the Packers need to try.
Slow down the Texans anyway possible – The Texans balanced offensive attack makes it tough to stop them. It makes it even more difficult when the Texans have very good players at each skill position. The Packers will have to do whatever they can to slow down this offense.
Don’t let JJ Watt dominate you – Watt has played like a man possessed so far this season and shows no real signs of slowing down. Green Bay’s offensive line will have to stop him and make sure he doesn’t stop the entire Packers offense by himself.