Rapid Reaction: Texans fall 35-20 to Green Bay Packers

The Houston Texans fell, 35-20, in a lopsided loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at NRG Stadium. After a scoreless first half for the Texans, they found themselves in a 21-0 hole.

"We're an inconsistent team, we showed that today," interim head coach Romeo Crennel said after the game. "We have to do is we have to refresh our minds, refresh our bodies during the bye week and then come back and practice, work together, pull together to be a more consistent team going down the stretch. You know, we've got some ability when we give the quarterback time, you make some plays. Defensively, we were inconsistent but we did do better against the run overall today. But then we got killed in the passing game. So that's a sign of inconsistency."

Deshaun Watson completed 29-of-39 passes for 308 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 114.0 passer rating. Randall Cobb had a team-high eight catches for 95 yards against his former squad. David Johnson finished with 83 yards from scrimmage (42 rushing, 41 receiving) and a touchdown catch.

Aaron Rodgers was 23-of-34 for 283 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The Texans defense struggled to contain his top target in Davante Adams, who erupted for 196 yards on 13 catches, two of which were scores. Cornerback Bradley Roby left the game on the opening drive with a knee injury and did not return.

"We had some man calls after Roby went out and they didn't always work the way we anticipated that they were going to work," Crennel said. "Some of them were zone calls, we played some zone. They were still able to get deep against some of the zone calls as well, you know, but not having your match up corner and not being able to match up on their best guy, I think it did hurt us."

Linebacker Zach Cunningham led the team with 11 tackles and defensive end J.J. Watt finished with five tackles and two tackles for loss.

The Packers took a 14-0 lead after Rodgers threw touchdown passes to Adams and tight end Jace Sternberger. Watson led a nine-play, 81-yard drive in the second quarter, but a missed 41-yard field goal kept the Texans off the board.

With 14 seconds before the intermission, Rodgers threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Malik Taylor to give the Packers a 21-0 lead at halftime.

On the opening drive of the third quarter, Brandin Cooks caught 3-of-3 passes for 27 yards, while Johnson added a 16-yard gain on a catch-and-run. Two plays later, Watson went back to Johnson for a three-yard touchdown pass. That capped an 11-play, 65-yard scoring drive. The Texans were finally on the scoreboard, down 21-7 with 8:55 left in the third quarter.

Rodgers responded with his fourth touchdown pass of the game and his second to Adams. Adams caught a 45-yard touchdown pass to give the Packers a 28-7 lead.

The Texans employed a heavy dose of Duke Johnson and David Johnson, including a 30-yard catch-and-run by Duke, late in the third quarter. After a sack on Watson on third down, Houston settled for a 38-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn.

"David is a big, strong physical runner and when we give him some space, he usually gains yards," Crennel said. "You know, we didn't always give him enough space today so we have to do a better job of creating space in the running game. The red zone, I think that offensively there were some opportunities for us, but we got pressured a couple times so we were not able to take advantage of them."
 

On the Packers next offensive series, Watt tackled running back Jamaal Williams for a three-yard loss. Buddy Howell blocked the Packers punt to give Houston possession at the 32-yard line.

Fairbairn kicked a 29-yard field goal and the Texans moved within two scores, down 28-13 with 9:56 left in the game.

Houston's defense held Green Bay to a three-and-out, but the Packers would score again after a failed Texans fourth-down conversion gave them a short field. Williams scored on a one-yard touchdown run and the Packers took a 35-13 lead.

Watson led a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive, converting six first downs before connecting with Will Fuller on a six-yard touchdown.

The Texans attempted and recovered an onside kick. However, a hit on David Johnson caused a fumble and Green Bay recovered.

With the loss, Houston falls to 1-6 on the season and will have a bye in Week 8.

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