Review: Packer fans should feel as confident as possible after playing their most complete game in years. It had been some time since the Offense, Defense, and Special Teams all played an A-game. Aaron Rodgers looked crisp in getting the ball out on time. Receivers looked to be open quick enough for a 3-step drop (they have been for a few weeks now), and the defense held Philadelphia under 300 yards of total offense. Cris Collinsworth made a big deal about Green Bay’s kickoff coverage, and the Packers responded with great tackling and coverage on well-placed kicks. Overall, it’s a pretty easy recap – the Packers did everything well. Now let’s see if they can keep it rolling against, what Mike McCarthy likes to call, an uncommon opponent.
Preview: The Houston Texans come in to Lambeau with a 6-5 record, losing their last 2 games. The Texans seem to be similar to the Packers in which they’ve beaten bad teams and have lost to good ones. Aside from the Packers’ week 4 victory of the New York Giants, that’s how the Packers typically roll. The Texans’ QB, Brock Osweiler, is a huge man (6’8” 235lbs) and is pretty athletic for a guy his size, has no issue seeing over his offensive line. However, even with good weapons in DeAndre Hopkins (#10) and Will Fuller V (#15), he’s been off all season – 59.5%, 12TD, 13INT, and a 72.2RAT – although he’s missing a couple of targets: CJ Fiedorowicz TE; Jalen Strong WR; Lamar Miller HB. Based on what the Packers showed at Philly last Monday night and how the Texans are struggling as of late, it makes sense to think the Packers have the upper-hand (Packers are favored by 6.5) heading into this match.
It’ll be interesting to see if Clay Matthews can play, and actually be effective instead of being a non-factor like he’s been for quite some time. Also, keep an eye on rookie Defensive lineman, Kenny Clark, who’s had a fairly productive season up to this point. Now’s about the time rookies his the proverbial Wall, but there’s a chance #97 could be productive with him not being asked to play each and every play. Damarious Randall’s (#23) return sparked a bit of improvement in the defensive backfield. Throughout the year, even though he’s been beat a few times, he’s always been in the hip pocket of the receiver he’s covering. Look for the Packers’ now 1st corner to cover the Texans’ #1 threat, DeAndre Hopkins.
With the Vikings losing to Dallas on Thursday night, they now sit at 6-6 and should Green Bay beat Houston that would pull them to a 6-6 record as well (Green Bay would still be behind Minnesota for losing their head-to-head matchup in week 2). If you’re convinced the Packers can Get In and Get Hot and get all the way to Houston for Super Bowl LI, then you best be rooting for the Saints to beat Detroit. How I see it shaking out, come Monday, December 5th, the Packers will be one game behind Detroit – ultimately controlling their divisional destiny. Meaning, should Detroit lose to New Orleans and Green Bay beat Houston, then with Green Bay still playing all three divisional opponents and if IF the Packers win out they’d, at worst, have the same record as Detroit (but hold the head-to-head tiebreaker 2-0) and Minnesota would have, at best, a 9-7 record while Green Bay would be 10-6. But let’s not get too far ahead…I’m glad I was wrong last week, however if the Packers don’t finish the season hoisting the Lombardi trophy I fear making the postseason as the brain trust may believe injuries were the major factor in failure v the play of the players, quality of the coaching, or quality of the roster.
Pick: record now is 16-13.