November 18, 2004
We’re Going Streaking!
by Jimmy Mohr
The Texans and Packers are both streaking. But while the Packers have won four straight, the young deficiencies of the Texans have been exposed is two consecutive losses. The two teams will meet this Sunday night on ESPN at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
The Texans will be playing in only their second prime time game of their brief existence. Their first, of course, was a victory over the Cowboys in their inaugural regular season game in 2002. Houston will have a difficult time keeping their perfect Sunday night record intact against a Packer team coming to town on a roll.
This Sunday night’s ESPN appearance comes at a time when the Texans are playing their poorest football of the season. Trips to Denver and Indianapolis netted the Texans two lopsided losses by a combined score of 80-27. Their record now stands at 4-5, two games behind the division leaders, but more importantly, behind the eight ball in the AFC Wild Card race. A third consecutive loss would all but kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.
The Packers have improved their record to 5-4 with last week’s victory over the Vikings. The win also pulled them into a tie with Minnesota atop the NFC North. The Packers are 3-1 away from the Frozen Tundra with their only loss coming at the hands of the Colts.
The Packers have been a scoring machine the past five weeks, scoring no less than 27 points a game. The turning point in their season came after an embarrassing loss to the Titans on Monday Night Football. The Packers responded by reeling off four consecutive victories. The resurgence can be attributed to Brett Favre who has nine touchdown passes and only three interceptions in the four game span.
If the Texans want to have a taste of what the playoffs would be like, this is a perfect opportunity. The Packers can ill-afford a slip-up in Houston this Sunday, so expect Favre & Co. to be running on all cylinders. Houstonians have been starved for meaningful games for years and this Sunday is a chance to finally enjoy the experience once again.
When the Texans have the ball…
Domanick Davis now dreams about the days he used to crack the 100 yard mark. Will it happen against the Pack? Their defense is handsomely ranked 9th in the league against the run, but they do surrender 4.5 yards per carry. If the Texans continue to struggle on the ground, David Carr will once again draw the D’s attention. He has a 103.7 QB rating at home compared to a 74.7 on the road. Andre Johnson has failed to score a touchdown or eclipse the 100 yard receiving mark in the last three games as defenses continue to gameplan him with extra coverage.
When the Packers have the ball…
Brett Favre is adding another strong year to his already stacked Hall of Fame resume. He is helped by the presence of RB Ahman Green and his 4.8 yards per carry average. Green torched the Vikings last week for a season high 145 yards on 21 carries. The Texans will need to watch out for Favre’s favorite targets. WR’s Javon Walker and Donald Driver have combined to account for nearly half of Favre’s completions. Expect Favre to have a big game; he has performed better on the road this year than at home (99.8 vs. 90.9 QB rating).
David Carr VS. Brett Favre Carr could learn plenty from the “old man” this week. Favre is the Packers’ unquestioned leader and has started every regular season game since 1993. Carr plays well at home, and has proven to have Favre-like toughness. Favre can be expected to bring his usual “A” game, but Carr needs to raise his game from last week’s effort.
Glenn & Robinson VS. Walker & Driver
The Texans dynamic duo will have their hands full with these two. Having been sacked five times all season, Favre should have plenty of time to sit in the pocket and wait for his receivers to get open. This will put the pressure on the corners to play big. The Colts systematically picked apart the Texans’ zone coverage last week and the Packers likely took notice. If Walker and Driver are allowed to find the holes in the Texans’ D, it could be a long night.
Texans Defensive Front VS. Packers Offensive Line
The Packers offensive line may as well be a brick wall. They won’t allow opponents to even get a whiff of Favre, and they open up big enough holes to average 4.5 yards per carry. The Texans held Edgerrin James under 100 yards, but that’s not all that difficult when Manning is lighting up the secondary. Ahman Green will have to be limited to less than 100 yards for the Texans to have a chance to win.
One positive from last week’s loss was that the Texans forced Peyton Manning into throwing a season-high two interceptions. Looking forward to this week, the Packers have been prone to turning the ball over. They are a negative 11 in turnover margin and have given it up 19 times. The Packers also have trouble creating turnovers, having forced only eight in nine games.
The Colts were teeing off on Carr with a standard four-man rush. The Texans offensive line broke down quicker than an ’83 Yugo. Carr was sacked five times last week; coincidentally the same number of times Favre has been sacked for the entire season. The Packers have 18 sacks this season, 4.5 by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (spell-check just crashed).
Get the crowd involved After two consecutive weeks on the road, it has to be a relief for the Texans to play in front of a friendly crowd. With the game being televised nationally on ESPN, the Texans fans and players should be fired up. The Houston fans were complimented greatly for their support of the Astros during the MLB playoffs; that same enthusiasm should be displayed Sunday night.
Bob says: I have a hunch Andre Johnson takes the prime time spotlight. Texans 34, Packers 31 Dave says: Two teams currently headed in different directions. Packers 24 Texans 21 Jimmy says: Favre is too much for the Texans on ESPN. Packers 31, Texans 21 Keith says: If Ben Stiller can take Brett Favre’s girl, then the Texans should be able to take this game from him, too. Texans 27, Packers 24 Ric says: Texans remain perfect on ESPN, slip up on Pack. Texans 21, Packers 17 Warren says: Favre played his first Sunday night game in Houston in 1992. Will this be his last? Texans 28, Packers 26 2004 Regular Season Records
Bob 7-2; Dave 5-4; Jimmy 4-5; Keith 3-6;
Ric 7-2; Warren 4-5 Week 10 Preview Green Bay Packers
2004 Record: (5-4)
11.21.04 | 7pm
Houston, TX Texan Leaders David Carr
182/291, 2,377 yds, 9/8 Domanick Davis
152/458, 3.0 YPC, 7 TD Andre Johnson
51/752, 14.7 YPC, 4 TD Packer Leaders Brett Favre
193/298, 2,243 yds, 18/9 Ahman Green
180/864, 4.8 YPC, 6 TD
49/851, 1735 YPC, 8 TD
2004 Schedule Date Opponent Result 08.14 Dallas 18-0 08.21 at Pittsburgh 3-38 08.27 at Denver 17-31 09.02 Tampa Bay 9-17 Regular Season 09.12 San Diego 20-27 09.19 at Detroit 16-28 09.26 at Kansas City 24-21 10.03 Oakland 30-17 10.10 Minnesota 28-34 10.17 at Tennessee 20-10 10.24 Bye 10.31 Jacksonville 20-6 11.07 at Denver 13-31 11.14 at Indianapolis 14-49 11.21 Green Bay 13-16 11.28 Tennessee 31-21 12.05 at New York Jets 7-29 12.12 Indianapolis 14-23 12.19 at Chicago 24-5 12.26 at Jacksonville 21-0 01.02 Cleveland 14-22 Overall Record 7-9