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The Green Bay Packers (4-1) will be in Houston for a matchup with the 1-5 Texans at NRG Stadium as part of the Week 7 slate on Sunday. This marks the first time the two teams will square off in Houston since 2012, the first meeting overall since 2016, just the fifth time they've ever faced each other, and the first time that Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson will share the same field in the regular season.
The Packers have won three of the previous four meetings and are favored by four points this time around, with an over/under of 56.5, tied for the highest total on the weekend card.
The Packers were one of the NFL's hottest teams to start the season, winning their first four games by more than 15 points per game. But then the bye week hit and halted their momentum.
Much like last season, Green Bay struggled coming out of the bye, falling to the Buccaneers, 38-10, despite jumping out to an early 10-0 lead. In his short tenure as the Green Bay head coach, Matt LaFleur is 0-2 after the bye, getting outscored by a combined 75-18.
The two interceptions that Rodgers threw against Tampa Bay were his first two of the season, and one was returned for a score.
In their four previous games, all wins, of course, the Packers had scored at least 30 points with Rodgers tossing 13 touchdown passes, tied for fifth in the NFL. Aaron Jones has been a dynamic complement to the passing game, as the Packers running back is one of only four players with seven total touchdowns so far this season.
The Texans, on the other hand, were on the wrong end of a four-game streak, dropping their first four games to begin the season. That resulted in the firing of Bill O'Brien, the team's head coach and general manager.
The team initially responded with a win, as they got their first victory against the Jaguars, but they ran out of gas last week and fell in overtime to the undefeated Tennessee Titans. In their five losses, the Texans have given up at least 28 points and are one of nine NFL teams to allow at least 30 points per game on average this season.
Watson has elevated his play of late, throwing seven touchdowns over the last two weeks, and he enters the game with the Packers with the third-most passing yards in the league.
Green Bay got a boost last Sunday with the return of wide receiver Davante Adams, and Rodgers should be able to exploit this Texans defense with his full arsenal at his disposal. It all depends on whether Watson and company can keep up in what should be a good old-fashioned shootout.
But it's difficult to bet against Rodgers coming off an embarrassing loss in a high-profile game. Jones should be featured, considering Derrick Henry just rushed more than 200 yards against Houston, and if Tennessee's Anthony Firkser can run roughshod at tight end, the Packers' Robert Tonyan should be licking his lips as well.
Pick: Packers -4