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Texans-Packers Preview: By The Numbers

Looking at the stats and trends before the Texans travel to Green Bay for Sunday’s showdown with the Packers.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Houston Texans
Houston needs more points!
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Houston (6-5)

The Texans have a defense that has limited opponents and kept games close right to the end in all but three of the eleven contests so far this season. Houston has managed an average point differential of just +6 in their six wins, but the tide has turned against them in the last two close games, with an average point differential of -7.5 against the Raiders and Chargers. The average point differential in all losses this season is -15.6 when you include the three blowouts delivered by the Patriots, Vikings and Broncos.

The Texans are averaging 23 points in games they have won and only 11 points in games they have lost. For fans of recency bias, Houston is averaging just 19.25 points per game in their last four games, resulting in a 2-2 record; (1-1 on the road and 1-1 at home, plus a two-game losing streak). The Texans’ defense has allowed an average of 20.5 points per game in those last four contests against the Lions, Jaguars, Raiders and Chargers.

In their most recent game, Houston held the Chargers to 21 points after they came in averaging 29.2 points per game through their first ten games. Unfortunately, the Texans only scored 13 points against a San Diego defense that was allowing an average of 27.8 points per game entering Week 12.

Houston Texans Schedule Results Week 12

Green Bay (5-6)

The Packers are averaging 27 points in their five wins and 23 points in their six losses. Again, for recency bias purposes, Green Bay is averaging 25.5 points in their last four games, resulting in a 1-3 record (with one loss at home and two losses/one win on the road). Following a four-game losing streak, the Packers bounced back on Monday night in a win over the Eagles in Philadelphia.

What is important to note about Green Bay’s recent stretch of games is that their defense had allowed an average of 33.25 points per game in the four tilts against the Falcons, Colts, Titans, and Redskins. However, in their most recent game on the road in Philadelphia, the Packers limited the Eagles to just 13 points after the Eagles were averaging 24.1 points per game through their first ten games. Green Bay scored 27 points against a Philly defense that was allowing an average of 18.6 points per game.

Green Bay Packers Schedule Results Week 12

Keys to Victory:

Based on these numbers for the whole season and recent trends, it is likely that Houston is going to need to score between 24 to 28 points in order to win against the Packers this week. That is assuming that the Texans’ secondary doesn’t get fully exploited by one of the better receiving groups in the league. That wide receiver corps is guided by a former MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who, unfortunately for the Texans, may have just found his high-octane mojo again.

To win in Green Bay, Houston’s defense will need to play a clean, disciplined game without any missed coverage assignments. The Texans’ offense will need to sustain drives in a balanced attack to limit the Packers from turning this into a boat race.