Missing Brian Cushing, the Houston Texans defense ran into a buzz saw on Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers offense dropped 42 points on the Texans to spoil their undefeated season. Houston should still be in the conversation when the playoffs arrive, though.
Rodgers tossed six touchdowns in prime time with the help of a highly motivated Packers team with expectations that exceeded the 2-3 mark that it had before Sunday night.
Houston’s running game wasn’t able to get going on the other side of the ball and, once they got into a hole, the passing game was unable to pull them out of it.
However, that’s not an average day for the Houston Texans.
Neither was their general ineffectiveness in the running game. Arian Foster accumulated a grand total of just 29 rushing yards on 17 carries. He converted two touchdowns, but his longest carry went for five yards.
Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates combined to throw for 257 yards (on 22/38 passing) and three interceptions with zero touchdowns.
The Texans were down the entire ballgame and were unable to find a rhythm against Green Bay. That doesn’t bode well for future matchups in which they get blindsided by opposing offenses, but how many more offenses will they face this season that are as explosive as the Packers’?
The answer: one.
Houston faces the New England Patriots in Week 14. By then, it should have figured out how it can best manage to stop teams defensively without the assistance of Cushing.
It also draws the Detroit Lions in Week 12, but Detroit’s offense is focused more on one receiver (Calvin Johnson) than spreading the ball around to several.
Much like the San Francisco 49ers, Houston is much better when it is allowed to play its brand of football. It experiences more success when it is allowed to pound the ball in the running game and get after the passer on defense when opponents are forced to throw.
Houston is still head-and-shoulders above the other teams in its division right now. One loss to Green Bay does not destroy its season.