Sunday, October 14, 2012
Wrap-up: Packers 42, Texans 24
By Kevin Seifert
A few thoughts on Sunday night's events at Reliant Stadium:
What it means: The Green Bay Packers roared back from last week's disappointment in Indianapolis with the most impressive response imaginable, drilling the previously undefeated Houton Texans in their building on national television. One of the best performances in quarterback Aaron Rodgers' career overshadowed a series of defensive injuries that could change the long-term analysis of this game.
RodgersWatch: Rodgers took it upon himself to raise the Packers' bravado this week, telling NBC broadcaster Cris Collinsworth that the Packers considered themselves the favorite for this game -- and that the Texans probably agreed. Rodgers then attacked the Texans' bump-and-run coverage with an aggression we hadn't seen this season, starting with a 41-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jordy Nelson in the first quarter and not calling it a night until he had tied a team record with six touchdowns. Nelson caught three, fellow receiver James Jones caught two more -- his third consecutive game with a pair of scores. Tight end Tom Crabtree's 48-yard score put the game away early in the fourth quarter. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Rodgers is the fifth player in NFL history to finish a game with at least 330 passing yards, six touchdown throws and no interceptions. It should also be noted that the Packers stayed true to their running game throughout the game, and tailback Alex Green finished with 22 carries.
Injury report: Already playing without nose tackle B.J. Raji (ankle) and receiver Greg Jennings (groin), the Packers had four players carted off with what appeared to be significant injuries. Linebackers Nick Perry (knee) and D.J. Smith (knee), running back Brandon Saine (knee) and cornerback Sam Shields (shin) did not return to the game. Erik Walden replaced Perry, Brad Jones played for Smith and rookie Casey Hayward had two late interceptions after replacing Shields. We'll provide an update Monday on their statuses.
Defense shines: Even with those injuries, the Packers doubled the number of sacks Texans quarterback Matt Schaub had taken (three) and the number of interceptions he had thrown (two). And probably more important, they did a number on tailback Adrian Foster (17 carries for 29 yards), which clearly diminished the Texans' flexibility on offense. Just a swarming effort all-around by Dom Capers' group.
What's next: The Packers will play at the St. Louis Rams next Sunday, the third of three consecutive games on the road.