The Houston Texans (6-6) may have fallen to the Green Bay Packers (6-6) in Lambeau field, but the Texans’ offensive performance was better than most expected, which doesn’t say a whole lot.
Brock Osweiler delivered a better performance than he did last week, not being responsible for any unnecessary turnovers. Osweiler completed 22 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. One of his scoring plays was on a successful fourth-down conversion, where Osweiler completed a six-yard pass to Ryan Griffin to cap off a 10 play, 63 yard drive.
Although Griffin had an impressive catch in the end zone, he also committed a costly turnover in the first quarter, as Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins forced him to cough up the ball, giving the Packers an opportunity to score. However, Green Bay wasn’t able to capitalize on their fumble recovery, and gave the ball back to Houston when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fumbled a snap in the red zone on the next drive. These would end up being the only turnovers in the game.
Although the Texans’ secondary held Rodgers in check for the majority of the game, Rodgers came alive in the fourth quarter, throwing a 32-yard touchdown pass to his favorite target, wide receiver Jordy Nelson, to give Green Bay a 14-7 lead. Rodgers completed 20 passes for 209 yards and two scores, relying heavily on the services or Nelson to help carry the Packers’ offense.
Nelson recorded eight receptions for 118 yards and a score, being the most impactful receiver in the entire ballgame, as the rest of Green Bay’s receivers were unable to collect 20 yards during the entire game.
With 4:18 left to go in the game, Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski punched the football in the end zone on a powerful three-yard run, which would put Green Bay up by two scores, 21-7. Green Bay’s run game wasn’t great, but it was good enough to do some damage to Houston’s banged up front seven, as Packers wide receiver and emergency running back Ty Montgomery was able to churn up 40 yards on six carries.
DeAndre Hopkins gave the Texans a slimmer of hope for a comeback, reeling in a 44-yard touchdown reception with 2:00 left in regulation. However, this play would be too-little-too-late as Green Bay wouldn’t allow any more late-game heroics from the Texans, preserving a hard-fought victory, 21-13.
Julius Peppers had a memorable day against Houston, passing Michael Strahan for fifth-most sacks in in NFL history by putting Osweiler on his back with 56 seconds remaining in the first half. Peppers also recorded four solo tackles in his dominant defensive performance against the Texans.
With the loss, Houston falls to 6-6, and has potential to fall into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC South if the Colts can beat the hapless Jets on Monday night. The Texans will head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts on Sunday, Dec. 11 with first place in the division potentially on the line.