Rapid Reaction: Packers 42, Texans 24
October, 14, 2012
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
HOUSTON -- Thoughts on the Houston Texans' 42-24 blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers at Reliant Stadium on Sunday night:
What it means: The Texans can be susceptible to a talented and desperate team with a top-flight quarterback. Houston didn’t adjust well in its first game without inside linebacker Brian Cushing, lost for the season to a torn ACL suffered Monday night against the Jets. Star cornerback Johnathan Joseph didn’t look like himself for the second week in a row. The Texans are still three wins up on Indianapolis and Tennessee in the AFC South.
What I didn’t like: The defensive effort was atrocious. Yes, Rodgers was back to the form that won him MVP last season. But he threw for 338 yards and six touchdowns, three to Jordy Nelson, two to James Jones and one to Tom Crabtree. (Graham Harrell replaced Rodgers late in the fourth quarter.) Houston rushed OK in spurts, but generally did little to throw Rodgers off his game. Texans fans got out of Reliant Stadium in a hurry, leaving Packers fans to send a “Go Pack, Go” chant around the venue.
What I liked: The Texans managed to get Andre Johnson back in the flow with eight catches for 75 yards. He has been under-utilized lately, so it was nice to see him back. In the fourth quarter, Johnson topped 10,000 career receiving yards. He did it in his 128th game, the sixth-fastest player to the mark in NFL history.
Injury concerns: Right guard Antoine Caldwell, who yields time some to rookie Ben Jones as part of a rotation, was knocked out of the game with a concussion.
Special teams: Penalties were an issue for the Texans on special teams. They did get a late blocked punt by Bryan Braman, which DeVier Posey recovered for a touchdown.
What’s next: The Texans host another giant game as the Baltimore Ravens come to town. The Texans were knocked out of last season’s playoffs a game short of the AFC title game by the Ravens in Baltimore and the two figure to be prime candidates for home field advantage through the playoffs.