Opposite Sideline: Texans made QB mistake
The lowdown on the Green Bay Packers' next opponent from a beat writer who covers the team.
The Green Bay Packers head home for the first time in nearly a month to host the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon.
We caught up with Aaron Wilson, who covers the Texans for the Houston Chronicle and got his thoughts on Sunday's matchup. You can find his answers to our questions below.
1. How can Bill O’Brien get Brock Osweiler on track? Or is it a lost cause?
"It's starting to feel more and more like he's hopeless given his lack of progress, accuracy, decisiveness or consistency. He may be fundamentally flawed despite some strong tools in terms of arm strength, pocket stature, athleticism and character. Osweiler is very accountable for his mistakes. One thing they can do is upgrade the offensive line, get him more comfortable in the pocket and add a more explosive wide receiver to work in tandem with DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. He's young and could still improve conceivably, but it definitely doesn't feel that way right now."
2. Jadeveon Clowney seems to be playing extremely well. Has it been just a function of getting healthy? Or has he truly elevated his game?
"Clowney's health and increased strength have translated into a lot of pressure and disruptiveness at the line of scrimmage. He still needs a more advanced repertoire of pass-rushing moves, but his bull rush despite being undersized for a defensive end and speed allow him to be a dominant run-stopper/edge-setter. Clowney has major upside to be a good player for a long time now that he's healthy."
3. How has the defense adjusted to the loss of J.J. Watt? Have there been major schematic changes, or have guys just stepped up?
"They have maintained their scheme, but don't get as many big plays obviously without the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Other guys, including Whitney Mercilus, Jadeveon Clowney and John Simon, stepped up in the front seven to provide a decent pass rush. It's not quite good enough, but solid. The secondary, especially A.J. Bouye, a former undrafted free agent, has played very well. The safeties are a weak spot. Inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney has 101 tackles and four sacks and is excellent as a run stopper and pass rusher, but is a liability in pass coverage."
4. How do you expect the Texans to attack the Packers when they are on offense?
"I think they're going to try to run the football and have a controlled passing game. They may do some jump balls to DeAndre Hopkins, timing routes with Will Fuller and safe, intermediate passes to tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz."
5. Do you expect Romeo Crennel to test Rodgers with pressure early, given that his mobility will likely be limited by his hamstring issue?
"I think he'll go after him with stunts and blitzes. Otherwise, Rodgers will just pick them apart. So, they have no choice but to go after him."