Packers Try To Relaunch Season In Houston

Photo: Jim Prisching/AP
Aaron Rodgers will need to find form against the unbeaten Texans. Image courtesy of Jim Prisching/AP
Five weeks in and the Green Bay Packers are a shadow of the team that went 15-1 last season. With just two wins from five starts, the Packers are looking for answers; primarily how Aaron Rodgers has gone from an MVP season when he threw 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions, to this campaign where he has just 10 TDs to his credit, as well as being picked off four times.

The Pack defence continues to give up phenomenal levels of yardage, but that didn’t matter last season. This year it does, because the offence is averaging just 22.5 points per game, compared to 35 per match last season. The Packers’ schedule isn’t helping either. Green Bay travels to Houston for Monday morning’s (AEST) clash with the so-far unbeaten Texans. It’s their second game on the road in a row, with another to come next week against the Rams in St Louis.

To make matters worse, veteran running back Cedric Benson will be out for a number of weeks after suffering a Lisfranc injury (foot) in last weekend’s loss to the Colts. Expect to see Rodgers going to the air almost exclusively, given the team’s next leading rusher this season is Alex Green who has carried for just 57 yards so far. After Benson went out of the game, the Packers chose to pass on 30 of the next 44 plays, whereas the split was almost even before the tailback’s injury. Given Mike McCarthy's apparent lack of faith in Green, James Starks could again become the team’s lead runner, despite his lack of work this campaign.

The Texans are having no such problems, and stretched their record to 5-0 with a win over the Jets in Monday Night Football in a match where they never really had to get out of second gear. Going back to last season, the Texans have won nine straight with quarterback Matt Schaub in the line-up.

The teams have met just twice since the Texans franchise started up in Houston. The last contest was in 2008 when the Texans stole a three-point win at Lambeau Field. 

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