Packers spoilers now against Texans?

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

October 12, 2012 10:55:29 AM PDT
A year ago, Green Bay was the hunted, spotless for three months before finally losing, but winding up 15-1 for the season.

Now, the Packers are struggling and have become the spoiler in Week 6 as they face unbeaten Houston.

When the NFL scheduled this game for prime time, it hoped to have a team with a perfect record. That it's the Texans who are 5-0 for the first time in their history is a bit of a surprise.

That Green Bay is 2-3 and can't find the dominant passing offense that it rode to such a gaudy record a year ago was not in NBC's plans. Nor the Packers'.

"Being 2-3 isn't where we expected to be, but we finally get a regular week where we have some time," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said. "I know Houston's coming off a Monday night game so they'll have a short week.

"Ultimately, you have to have a short memory in this game. We let one get away from us last week (at Indianapolis), but we still have all the pieces of the puzzle and look forward to hopefully getting a victory this Sunday."

The Texans have been the league's most balanced team, and their defense, even without star linebacker Brian Cushing (on injured reserve with a torn left knee ligament), could give Green Bay fits. J.J. Watt is a force not only as a pass rusher with 7 1/2 sacks, but as a pass blocker. He's been compared to a basketball center swatting away balls.

"You're not going to get a sack on every play or on most plays," Watt said. "So you find ways to do other things to help, and that's something I can do."