4. What happened to the Packers run defense, that was great to start the season yet disappeared over the last few weeks?
The Packers benefited from playing multiple backup running backs and poor offensive lines early in the year, and this exaggerated their performance. That’s not to take away from their play, but it certainly made them look better than they are.
Injuries at linebacker played a part in the decline, also. Clay Matthews, Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez have all missed time. Matthews’ return has helped.
5. Who is one Packer that most Texans fans don’t know about yet will have a big impact on the game?
My pick would be Damarious Randall. The second-year cornerback hasn’t played well this year, but he’s been dealing with a groin injury that required surgery. Randall looked rusty on Monday night in his first game back, but with an extra week to get healthy, the hope is he replicates his rookie season play.
Randall has five interceptions (including postseason) in 22 games for the Packers. Brock Osweiler has thrown four picks over the past two weeks. Randall could be a difference maker.
6. What is your predicted final score?
It’s difficult to trust the Packers, particularly defensively, but I feel they match up well with the Texans. Aaron Rodgers is on fire and the Packers’ passing game is one of the league’s best, particularly at home.
While Green Bay’s defense has struggled, I’m not convinced Brock Osweiler will take full advantage.
It’ll be a close game, but I’m edging the Packers at home. Packers 24, Texans 17