NFL Week 7 picks: Packers vs. Texans odds and predictions
The Green Bay Packers suffered their first setback of the season last weekend after getting thoroughly dominated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Texans, meanwhile, had a chance to upset the Tennessee Titans, but couldn’t convert on a two-point attempt that would have secured the win, and then were unable to stop Derrick Henry in overtime. The end result was a heartbreaking 42-36 loss.
The Texans have shown signs of improvement since firing coach Bill O’Brien earlier this month, but a loss is still loss. Both the Packers and Texans should have a heightened sense of urgency to get back in the win column when they meet this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at NRG Stadium.
Sun, October 25 2020, 5:00 PM
Green Bay Packers
Packers offense can put dreadful outing in rear view mirror
The Packers' first loss of the season last weekend was particularly troubling on the offensive side of the ball, which goes without saying when you only put up 10 points. But the issues go beyond the final score.
His rushing touchdown aside, Aaron Rodgers had a miserable day. The veteran quarterback tossed two interceptions, including one for a pick-six, and was sacked four times for 42 yards. He had been sacked only three times combined over the four previous games.
Green Bay rushed for 94 yards, while Rodgers was held to 160 yards through the air.
It was a dismal afternoon for everyone involved with the Packers, but that should serve as a wake-up call for a team that hasn’t exactly faced many heavy hitters to start the season.
Looking ahead to this week, there should be plenty of opportunity for the Packers to find their rhythm again. The Texans defense has given up the third most passing yards in the NFL, and they’re tied for the fifth most passing touchdowns allowed at 13. Houston has given up 28 points or more in five of its six games.
Deshaun Watson is heating up for Texans
Deshaun Watson can do so many things well. Over the last three weeks, he has been playing his best football of the season, with nine touchdown passes and two interceptions, while throwing for 300 yards in each of his last three outings.
The Packers defense was picked apart last weekend by Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones and quarterback Tom Brady. This week, they’ll face Watson, and what a challenge he presents.
Not only has Watson been airing the ball out – his lowest pass attempt total since Week 4 was 33 against Minnesota – but he has an ability to extend plays with his feet.
The Packers defense only has eight quarterback sacks, and while they haven’t given up a huge total of passing yards, they only have two interceptions while giving up 13 touchdown passes. The way Watson is rolling right now, he could be in for another big day.
The injury bug has hit the Packers, with tight end Robert Tonyan missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday due to an ankle injury. Fellow tight end Marcedes Lewis (knee) was a limited participant on Wednesday, but did not take part in Thursday’s session. On defense, both linebackers Preston Smith (shoulder) and Za’Darius Smith (ankle) have been listed as limited participants this week. The bigger issue could be at running back, with the news that Aaron Jones may be a game-time decision.
For Houston, tight end Jordan Akins missed Wednesday and Thursday with a concussion, while veteran defensive end J.J. Watt didn’t practice Wednesday. However, his absence was not injury related.
The Packers lead the head-to-head series between these teams with three wins in four matchups, the latest triumph coming in Green Bay in 2016.
Green Bay is 4-1 Against the spread this season, with the one blemish coming last weekend in Tampa Bay. The Over is 3-2 in Green Bay’s games this season, with the total points set at 57 for Sunday’s matchup.
The Texans are a dreadful 1-5 against the spread this season. The Over has been triumphant in all of Houston’s road games year, however, the Under is 2-1 in home games this year.
Score prediction: Packers 27, Texans 31