Green Bay Packers (4-1) vs. Houston Texans (1-5)
Are the Houston Texans really this bad? After two straight trips to the playoffs, the Houston Texans find themselves wondering if their season may be over by the end of October. This, after suffering their fifth loss of the season, falling to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday in overtime, 42-36.
They will get a chance to get back on track as they welcome the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Green Bay is coming off their first loss of the season, getting absolutely dominated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-10.
Green Bay enters the contest as 3.5-point favorites. The total is set at 57.0.
(Line movements and injury reports are updated as of Saturday afternoon.)
This one has shifted slightly in favor of the visiting team. The Packers opened as three-point favorites and now sits at Green Bay -3 or -3.5 points depending on the sportsbook. 69 percent of the bets ATS are taking Aaron Rodgers and the Packers here while giving the points.
The total for this game opened at 55.5 points. There has been some upward movement as the total now sits at 57 points at the majority of the sportsbooks. A solid 61 percent of the bets on the total think this one is going over the mark.
Game-time Weather: NRG Stadium is a retractable-roof stadium.
Packers Crushed in Tampa Bay
The Green Bay Packers rolled into Tampa Bay undefeated and coming off a bye week. Everything looked like it was rolling the Packers way, especially after they jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead. However, a Jamel Dean 32-yard interception return for a touchdown turned the game, as the Buccaneers scored 38 unanswered points on their way to the 28-point victory.
QB Aaron Rodgers started out hot but finished 16 for 35 for 160 yards and two interceptions. That moves him to 1374 yards passing and dropped his completion percentage to 65.5%. The two interceptions were his first of the season and the quarterback had his first contest without a touchdown pass this year. He enters the game against Houston with 13.
Rodgers has spread the ball around as six different Packers have at least 13 catches this season, led by Davante Adams with 23. Allen Lazard has been a deep threat, making 13 catches for 254 yards, a 19.5 yards per catch average, but he is out for Sunday's game. TE Robert Tonyan has been Rodgers’ go-to guy near the goal line with five touchdown catches.
After Sunday's loss, Rodgers explained how this may actually be good for the team, helping them to get back to the fundamentals that led them to produce 30 points in each of the first four contests. "There's a little bit of wake-up to stop feeling ourselves so much and get back to the things that got us to this position. I think this would be, unfortunately, but fortunately, something we can really grow from."
Besides the loss of Lazard, the other big injury for Green Bay is offensive lineman David Bakhtiari. He is listed as doubtful.
OUT: TE Josiah Deguara, CB Kabion Ento, RB Tyler Ervin, WR Devin Funchess, LB Christian Kirksey, DL Tyler Lancaster, WR Allen Lazard, CB Parry Nickerson, G Simon Stepaniak, G Lane Taylor, RB Patrick Taylor
Doubtful: T David Bakhtiari, CB Kevin King, S Darnell Savage
Questionable: LB Krys Barnes, LB Rashan Gary, RB Aaron Jones, TE Marcedes Lewis, C Corey Linsley, LB Kamal Martin, LB Preston Smith, LB Za'Darius Smith, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, TE Robert Tonyan
OT Loss Puts Texans in Desperation Mode
It has been an incredibly tough start to the season for the Houston Texans, as they have arguably the most difficult first two months of the 2020 season. With Kansas City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota as their first four contests, it was not surprising that the team came away winless.
However, a victory over Jacksonville two weeks ago had the team thinking things are looking up. That is until they dropped an overtime thriller to Tennessee last weekend, 42-36. This was an exciting contest that saw Tennessee take an early 14-0 lead only to watch Houston battle back to take a 23-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Texans took a seven-point lead just after the two-minute warning, but Ryan Tannehill connected with A.J. Brown with four seconds left in the game to tie the score, and Derrick Henry won it with a 5-yard touchdown run.
QB Deshaun Watson had his best performance of the season, throwing for 335 yards and four touchdowns while completing 28 of 37 pass attempts. Watson now has thrown 13 TDs with 1,786 yards. However, he has thrown five interceptions, none in the loss against Tennessee.
Will Fuller (28 catches, 455 yards, 4 TDs) and Brandin Cooks (27 catches, 367 yards, 2 TDs) have made for an outstanding tandem for Watson, and Randall Cobb (22, 277, 2) gives the Texans a dynamic trio that has been difficult for opposing defenses to control.
The big issue for Houston has been their defense. They have been terrible all season, allowing 30.3 points per game and allowed 15 points in the fourth quarter to Tennessee. They need a dramatic improvement right now if they expect to get into the playoff picture.
That may not be possible, as the Texans have a number of injuries on the defense, including cornerbacks Lonnie Johnson, Vernon Hargreaves III, and Cornell Armstrong all being listed as questionable for the contest. The team is also without three of their linebackers, safety A.J. Moore Jr. is out.
OUT: CB Gareon Conley, LB Duke Ejiofor, LB Peter Kalambayi, LB Bernardrick McKinney, S A.J. Moore Jr., NT Eddie Vanderdoes, TE Kahale Warring
Questionable: TE Jordan Akins, CB Cornell Armstrong, WR Isaiah Coulter, CB Vernon Hargreaves III, CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.
- 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games at home.
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven games.
- 0-4 ATS in their last four games against teams with a winning record.
Green Bay Packers:
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on field turf.
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games.
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven games in October.