The Houston Texans face perhaps their biggest obstacle thus far this season on Sunday Night in the Green Bay Packers. The Texans have proven that they are one of the best teams in the league, but to eliminate all doubt they look to take down Aaron Rodgers and stake their claim as the league elite.
While the defense will have their hands full as well, we’re going to focus first on the offense in Sunday’s game.
This game will begin and end with Matt Schaub. If he shows up and puts up numbers like he did against the Broncos and helps the Texans take an early lead, then they should easily win this game. However, if Schaub is inconsistent and doesn’t make the plays asked of him then it could be a long day.
With the Elias Sports Bureau taking away one of J.J. Watt’s sacks about four weeks after it occurred, Clay Matthews is the new league leader in sacks which means the offensive line will have it’s hands full all night. The Bears couldn’t figure it out a few weeks ago and while I won’t compare the Texans line to the Bears and certainly not Schaub to Cutler, it is concerning to play against a player with that much talent.
Not only will the Texans have a formidable pass rush to play against they will also be facing one of the better secondary players the league has ever seen in Charles Woodson. If Schaub comes out and shows that he is still the patient player we’ve seen thus far this season and not the gunslinger we’ve seen in years past, then Woodson won’t have many opportunities to make plays.
The Texans welcome back Ben Tate this week and that could end up being a huge blessing. Foster has been getting a startling number of carries and Justin Forsett was virtually useless last week, so getting a back who can spell Foster and take away some of his carries is very beneficial.
The Texans have proven again this year that they have one of the best running games in the league. They will need to show it again this week as, if all goes well, they will be trying to keep Aaron Rodgers and a potent Packers aerial assault at bay.
Tate has been held in check for much of the year and while he probably still isn’t at 100% it sure would help if he was able to contribute at least 5-10 carries for about 30 yards or so.
As it is Foster will be the workhorse and Texans fans certainly shouldn’t see that as a bad thing. He is one of the best backs in the league and has shown that he is durable enough to handle the workload. If Foster can contribute 100 yards or more in Sunday Night’s game the Texans should come out on top.
I am just about done with predictions as almost all of them since the regular season has begun have been wrong. However, I see this as a big day for Keshawn Martin. The Packers defense is predicated off of getting pressure quickly and having their big corners press at the line.
The Texans offensive line is good enough to keep the pass rush at bay for just a bit longer than most teams and if Martin is put in the open field with single coverage he has the advantage. Sunday night should be Martin’s coming out party and what better place than at home in front of a national audience.
The tight ends will probably amass a significant amount of yards again as well, considering they do so just about every week as a unit. Perhaps this is the week the running backs get involved in the passing game, but maybe not as I have made that prediction every week thus far this year.
Last week marked the second game in a row and third time in five weeks that Matt Schaub was not sacked a single time. The offensive line is creating time for Schaub and if they continue on this pace they will set at least the franchise record for least sacks allowed in a season. Poor David Carr was only about ten years early.
My prediction: Texans over Packers 31-20