Sunday night wrap-up: Rodgers is back, so are Packers

AP

Yeah, that stuff Aaron Rodgers was saying the other day about his own play not being up to par?

Never mind.

Rodgers was back to MVP Rodgers, and he dragged the Packers back to looking like champions along with him.

He was laser-sharp while carving up the Texans 42-24 Sunday night, completing 24-of-37 passes for 338 yards and six touchdowns, the same amount the Texans had allowed in their 5-0 start. (Watch the highlights here.)

And it wasn’t as if Rodgers stood back with clean pockets all day.

He stood in and took shots and delivered passes, he scrambled for first downs and more when plays broke down. He read through progressions, and found guys who weren’t the first choice.

In short, he was Rodgers again.

And as long as that’s the case, the 3-3 Packers are as good if not better than any team in the NFL.

Here’s another thing: They’re without their best wideout in Greg Jennings, although Jordy Nelson is quickly making that a debate. And a guy with bad hands (James Jones) has caught multiple touchdowns in three straight games.

Those things don’t happen in a vacuum, or with anything short of the best quarterback in the game throwing it to them.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. The Texans didn’t look like the undefeated team that really hadn’t been pushed.

Or maybe they did.

The Texans were able to beat five teams by an average of 15.2 points per game coming into this one, and it might not be an accident that all five were AFC teams. In fact, the toughest of the lot might have been the Jets game, and the Jets can play a physical style you see more often in the other conference.

But from Connor Barwin trying to play buck-buck like Fat Albert on a field goal, to Danieal Manning trying to punch out from the bottom of a pile, the Texans played without much composure, which doesn’t bode well for the games that matter in January, when somebody else might punch back.

2. It’s not exactly breaking news to say that J.J. Watt is having a phenomenal year.

But with two more sacks, pushing him to 9.5 in six games, it becomes more amazing with each passing week.

A 3-4 defensive end is simply not supposed to do be able to do this. The job description, as originally written, doesn’t come close to what Watt is capable of doing. Ends in the 3-4 are supposed to contain the run, be solid and clog lanes for outside linebackers to make the glory plays.

It’s not like a receiver leading the league in rushing, but it’s at least the equivalent of a tight end leading the league in receiving yards, and speaks to his singular talent.

3. The Packers can’t keep inside linebackers healthy, but that doesn’t cover up the fact that one of them is playing very well.

Desmond Bishop was lost for the year with a preseason hamstring, and his replacement D.J. Smith left the game with a knee injury after a suspect block by Texans left tackle Duane Brown.

But the other Packers inside linebacker, A.J. Hawk, has been more than just solid of late, playing very well against the run. The Packers (who were also missing nose tackle B.J. Raji) held Texans running back Arian Foster to 22 yards on 13 carries in the first half, when the run game was a viable option.

Hawk has taken a lot of criticism, and it’s easy to make a case that he’s overpaid. But he’s played well when the Packers needed him most.

4. One other quick note on the Brown hit on Smith.

The Texans have now ceded the moral high ground, and can no longer complain about linebacker Brian Cushing’s season-ending injury from a block of similar intent by Jets guard Matt Slauson.

You can’t have it both ways, fellas.

A wise man told me once there’s a difference between innocent and righteous. Just because it wasn’t flagged doesn’t make it right.

5. The Texans spent a lot of money ($48.75 million for five years) on cornerback Johnathan Joseph, and they’re  not getting a return on their investment lately.

There was no injury reported during the game, but he came out for a few plays for backup Alan Ball.

The Texans struggled last week in the secondary against the Jets, and if they were playing a team with actual receivers (and more of a quarterback), it might have cost them then.

It caught up with them Sunday night.

Joseph is a good cover player, but his two-week lapse is noticeable, and something they can’t afford.

88 responses to “Sunday night wrap-up: Rodgers is back, so are Packers

  1. Where are all the Rodgers haters saying the Packers should get rid of him? People mentioning him in the same sentence as Jay Cutler?? Absolutely ridiculous. Packers will sweep the division again like they do every year with #12.

  2. Called It. Where are the thumbs down now?

    —————————————-
    judsonjr says: Oct 12, 2012 9:04 PM

    Packers will shut down Matt Schwab and Barry Foster and get the Win on Sunday night.

  3. 3 – 3 … same record as 2010… before going on to win the superbowl…

    Better to stumble early and get angry – then get on a roll.

    ps; Houston’s oline …. smh.

  4. For the Texans, that was a beat-down in front of their fans and in front of a national television audience. A whipping, a thrashing, a stomping and so on…

  5. “The Packers are who we thought they were”…Assuming you weren’t one of the ones to jump ship early in the season. Anyone expecting them to go 15-1 again doesn’t understand how the NFL works year to year. They are still one of the best teams in the league. Great game, and a great win over a top quality opponent.

  6. Recipe for disaster..Joseph dealing with hammy issue for two weeks now cant lock down one side of the field..pack recivers better one on one than the other texans dbs. Quin having to play down in the box to help run support with cushing out limiting safety help. Right side of Texans line and foster struggling forcing predictable passing downs and allowing heavy pressure on Schaub, and making play action a non factor. A motivated Pack team on prime time against a 5-0 team that needed a little grounding. Throw in some costly penaltys on 3rd down and u have a blowout. Excpect a hungry team next week in an important conference game against the Ravens.

  7. Good god the AFC sucks this year. The NFC champion is going to blow out whoever wins the AFC this year in New Orleans.

    The Texans just got rolled and if they didn’t look so bad against the Jets last week I’d write it off as fluky but the Jets easily could have beaten them.

    Green Bay is going to be a scary team to face in January.

  8. Wow bleed—two injury excuses in the first few sentences. No Raji, Jennings, Bishop for the Packers. I would say the Texans were a pretty healthy bunch in comparison. I have listened to all of the haters this week call the Packers whiners—-now it’s your turn. Enjoy.

  9. I never believed the texans hype and Rodgers destroyed any chance they are ever considered a title contender again. The texans were forced to pass so early on in the game they were doomed from mid first quarter because they have a very lackluster passing attack. That offsides penalty in the first possession of the game that gave the packers an automatic first down changed the entire game because it proved to Rodgers he could pass on the one on one coverages. This reminded me of the game against the falcons the year they won the Super Bowl.

    Just shows that there really is no dominant team out there right now and the texans are long gone from that list.

  10. “It’s not like a receiver leading the league in rushing, but it’s at least the equivalent of a tight end leading the league in receiving yards, and speaks to his singular talent.”
    It isn’t his singular talent. Half the talk on Watt is about how he tips/blocks passes. Words: They have specific (if not singular) meanings.

  11. Great win by the Packers but….wow are their fans heads getting seriously inflated tonight. As a rival fan I hope the players heads get just as big too.

  12. Thak God for the Packers winning. Had they dropped this game after the beat down they suffered last week I would shutter to think about what the suicide rate woud have been in the frozen tundra of both the fans and the dudes selling the fake cheese that is worn on everyones heads. Ah, a whole week to hearing that the Pack is back and all is right with the world. Looks like I may be taking the week off. Something tells me I will be back soon talking about the soap opera in the NFC North. At least I still have Cutler to rag on until next time. Good Luck Jeff Saturday, you are truely missed.

  13. 9erfan here. Good win for the Packers. Congratulations. Captain Obvious says we’ll have a much better idea about who the 400 lb gorilla is in the NFC North in about 5 weeks.

    Thank you for beating the Texans. This week I won’t have to listen to the annoying tool who thinks the Texans are the best team in the NFL and are a lock to win this year’s SB.

  14. better to make the mistakes, and struggle early in the season, rather than late.
    great coming out party tonight on national tv at the site of the best AFC team.
    long season to go, but hopefully this is the corner theyve been looking to turn.

  15. The packers were never as bad as their losses as all the green bay or educated fans knew, they weren’t going 15-1 again. However, they also are not as good this year as this win either, as the Pats and 49ers can attest too. One game against a team due to fall flat doesn’t mean anything is “back” as in last years back. Nor does it mean the Texans are as bad as this loss. Keep it in perspective. Pats and Niners had historical offensive games and look what happened. GB is still a playoff team as they’ve always been with Rodgers, but they aren’t last years team either, a repeat of 2010 is slightly more likely but they simply are not that dominant, especially this year with parity everywhere. This win and loss for both teams should be taken in perspective, both good, maybe great, not dominant. Nothing is “back” though until it goes for more than two weeks.

  16. It’s 1 win, a big win against a tough opponent but its 1 win none the less. Im just happy they ran the ball and ran it well tonight, They haven’t been able to win two games in a row yet so thats the next step, on to the Rams.

  17. Typical overreaction after a game. The packers are a good team and will continue to get better, but please let’s not claim them to be the best team and now the texans are the worst.

  18. I said last week that I wouldn’t be happy until GB is officially eliminated from playoff contention. It’s games like tonight that make me say that.

  19. Pretty funny how when the Packers lose these posts get absolutely flooded acting like its the end of the world. The average fan is too quick with knee jerk reactions failing to realize it is a long season and teams develop for the better or worse as the games go on. Very encouraged by the performance to night. Unbelievable what the Packers can accomplish when they stop taking things for granted.

  20. “Packers suck. Packers are horrible. Can’t beat a winning team. Rodgers is average” Keep it coming please. Like it or not, this team is still representing the NFC in the SB!

  21. Two teams havent been playing well, people were about to right them off, all sorts of questions about them, and they were playing top teams on the road. The packers and giants just wanted to give everyone a little reminder…

    They can beat anyone, anytime, anywhere, k? K…

  22. Who have the Texans beaten that had people ready to crown them? No one. Not saying they’re a bad team, but I saw a game like this against an angry Packers team coming from a mile away.

  23. I thought the Texans offense looked lethargic again the Jets last week. It appears to me that the Texans offense is without fire and passion. Their defense has plenty of fire and JJ Watt is the catalyst. Rogers burned them tonight but I think that will not be the norm moving forward. I’d be more concerned with their offense. It just seems there is no zest. As much as I like Schaub, he’s like a zombie emotionally and this may be why the offense seems to have no fire to them.

  24. You Packer fans kill me. You’re missing like 8 starters to your team and just climbed back to 3-3 and you guys are already chirping. This isn’t 2010 and chances are you won’t get to go through a 3rd string QB on your way to a SB this time. You exposed Houston for the overrated bunch that they are…congrats.

  25. As fantastic as the GB offense looked against an excellent defense, I think I might have been even more impressed with how they stopped the Hou run game sans Raji.

    This may be the weirdest NFL year I can recall. I think there are like 21 teams with 3 losses. And I think today puts the stamp on NFC>AFC.

  26. Oh yeah, the AFC is weak; Didn’t the Pack lose to the lowly Colts one week ago 30-27? Last time I checked, the Colts are in the AFC.

  27. The Pack is Back!!! Rodgers looked like his old self, and the WR’s stepped their game up, and what a show from the D!!! the only thing to worry about is how bad Finley looked, he looked lost on some plays and uninterested on others… looks to me like Finley may be complaining about his chemistry with another QB next year… which is too bad because I think the whole Packer nation had high hopes for him…

  28. I probably talked more crap about Rodgers and the Pack than anybody. Didn’t stop me from putting $700 on them to win tonight. Thanks to all the overreacters that pushed the Vegas line to +5 LOL.

  29. I must be the only one who said the packers would win this game..they are not a bad team by any means just a couple fluky losses and i always and still think this team will win the nfc north this year.

    I never bought into the texans hype this year either.

  30. Lol. Packers fans….if the niners beat u down like they did…and the giants beat niners with easeeee….u really think u have a shot this season? So your gunna beat niners…and giants….and falcons….geez…lets throw in seahawks while were at it lol. Your team is still a joke. You had a goodnight and all of a sudden you losers are all rah rah. And dont bother talking bout my team cause unlike you scrubs i can admit when my team isnt good. Cant wait to hear these excuses youll have saved come november….thats is if you even make it there.

  31. First off, congrats to the Packers – they definitely wanted this game more than the Texans did. In the long run it means nothing because it was an NFC team and it’s more important to win the AFC games for playoff positioning.

    Secondly, there’s no way you can compare the block Brown did to what Cushing suffered. His block was not even in the same ballpark. Go watch it again – their heads don’t even touch each other. Again, only because of an injury are we even talking about it.

    Finally, Packer fans can say all they want that they won the Super Bowl last time they were 3-3, but we all know the season is long and anything can happen.

  32. 3-3 after 6 in 2010 with injuries piling up. The Bears were a couple games ahead at the time and I believe Atlanta was if not undefeated at the time then very close. That was a couple of years ago… I’m trying to remember how that season ended.? Oh ya! Now I remember : )
    Here’s to hoping history repeats itself.

  33. More proof the Texans are a joke. Remember who their coach is and why they won’t win squat.

    I’ve been saying all year, Packers, Giants and Bears are the best teams in football, one of them will win the Super Bowl.

  34. I guess the Texans didnt get the memo.. every team in the NFL knows to beat greenbay you have to press the WR’s at the line an put presure on Rodgers.. knock him down an make him run all game. The Texans let Rodgers sit back there an pass the ball when he got ready to. THE RAMS WONT DO THAT. the film aint even worth watching

  35. The Bears are not one of the best teams in football. Cutler has a Green Bay complex and plays like absolute trash whenever they play. They are a good regular season team who always finds a way to devastate their devoted fanbase when things really matter. That is a fact.

  36. This is what happens when you play a better team than you have your first five games, you get torched. Don’t want to hear any excuses about not having cushings, the Texans were exposed and now they will be questioned when the it comes to playing a better team.

  37. By the way, give me Tom Crabtree and his diligence over butterfingers headcase Finley any day of the week. I have defended him so much in the past but am officially sick of him and his loudmouth. He drops the ball regularly, but still does that ridiculous dance when he makes a 10 yard catch. The thing that makes me cringe is that he’ll probably be dominant on his next team, but it’s time to realize that he and the Packers are not a good fit.

  38. pdillon1 says:
    Oct 15, 2012 12:51 AM

    this isn’t 2010 and chances are you won’t get to go through a 3rd string QB on your way to a SB this time.
    ——————————————————
    Nevermind that we went through their 1st string QB, and completely shut him down, too, 0 TDs and 2 INT’s. Nevermind that this was also their own field we had to “go through their 3rd string QB” on, as was the case with, you know, all 3 playoff games we had to win to get to the SB.

    BTW, don’t even give me this crap about starters being injured, we’ve been there before, and done that all the same (2010).

  39. Attention Ben Roethlisberger Obsessives: Aaron Rodgers was what an “elite” quarterback is suppose to look like.
    Did you see him “extend plays”? Did you see him dodge defenders and break tackles? Was his offensive line perfect?
    But most of all, did you see Rodgers throw SIX touchdown passes against allegedly the best defense in the NFL?
    Rodgers vs. the NFL’s best defense: 24 of 37 for 338 yards and SIX TDs.
    Roethlisberger vs. a defense that had allowed 36 points per game: 24 of 40 for 363 yards and ONE TD…
    Both Rodgers and Roethlisberger’s games were on the road, but Rodgers’ team somehow was able to win even though the other guys scored 24 points.
    For the Steelers, if the other guys score more than 20, forget about it…

  40. steelers4385 says:
    Oct 15, 2012 1:47 AM

    So your gunna beat niners…and giants….and falcons….
    ——————————————————

    Considering the team we soundly beat today has a better record (and better in virtually every statistical category) than all those teams except the Falcons (who we wiped the floor with–in their own house–the last 2 meetings in a row, I’m not scared to face them again in the playoffs, even at the Dome), I’d definitely say we have a shot. Sorry, throwing for as many TDs in one game against the same team as they’ve given up throughout their entire 5 game win streak leading up to this game is no fluke, as much as you want to desperately pass it off as such.

  41. Gotta give props when props are due. I thought the Pack could win but didn’t think they could tattoo them like that. Great job!

    Whether they’re back or not can’t be determined by one game however. They had a game similiar to this when they beat the Bears and followed it with some loses.

    Doesn’t appear to be any dominant teams this year; just a lot of very good ones. Should make for an interesting rest of the season!

  42. Big difference between Slauson going in low directly at Cushing’s knee and Brown hitting Smith up at the shoulder. Its unfortunate that he was injured but its apples and oranges comparing it to a direct intentional shot at the knee

  43. BTW, bragging about “calling it” is right up there with bragging about your fantasy team in comment threads.

    Congratulations. Here’s your cookie.

  44. techvet says:Oct 14, 2012 11:46 PM

    For the Texans, that was a beat-down in front of their fans and in front of a national television audience. A whipping, a thrashing, a stomping and so on…

    Packers lost to the Colts..Remember that

  45. @ all the Packer haters out there, its a 16 game season, ya this week’s win does not mean a heck of a lot but the same could be said for the previous week’s loss.

    In today’s NFL, the cream eventually does rise to the top and conversely, teams winning with smoke and mirrors (Vikings anyone?) come back to earth.

    Let’s everyone calm down and see how this plays out for the next few weeks. I know which team I would want to bet my money on and they are not wearing purple.

  46. ‘The Texans have now ceded the moral high ground, and can no longer complain about linebacker Brian Cushing’s season-ending injury from a block of similar intent by Jets guard Matt Slauson.’

    There is HUGE difference between Brown’s hit and Slausen’s!!! Slausen dived at another players knees from behind. Brown’s block may have been questionable in its legality, but he hit him in the shoulder. You can’t possibly compare the two.

  47. Going to be an interesting next month. They don’t play a Defense with any real fire power to slow them down until the Giants on Nov 25th. I know last night was only 1 game but something feels very different today about the Packers.

  48. broncosfan29 says:
    Oct 15, 2012 6:40 AM

    Great. Now we get to hear how great they are all week. They still lost to the Seahawks, Colts, and 49ers.
    —————————————————–

    Kinda like we’ve been hearing (and, for ATL, still hearing) about how great the Falcons and Texans were before Sunday? And like we’ll start hearing about how great the Giants are after trouncing the 9ers yesterday? Yet I don’t (and didn’t) see anyone bitching about any of that… oh yeah, that’s right, it’s the Pack we’re talking about here. I forgot, that changes everything, silly me.

  49. kmanx89 says:
    Oct 15, 2012 4:53 PM
    broncosfan29 says:
    Oct 15, 2012 6:40 AM

    Great. Now we get to hear how great they are all week. They still lost to the Seahawks, Colts, and 49ers.
    —————————————————–

    Kinda like we’ve been hearing (and, for ATL, still hearing) about how great the Falcons and Texans were before Sunday? And like we’ll start hearing about how great the Giants are after trouncing the 9ers yesterday? Yet I don’t (and didn’t) see anyone bitching about any of that… oh yeah, that’s right, it’s the Pack we’re talking about here. I forgot, that changes everything, silly me.

    ——

    Glad you realize the error of your ways.

    Convert. Buy a cheesehead. You’ll be happier in life.

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