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The Green Bay Packers kicked it up a notch on offensive and defense, handing the Houston Texans their first defeat of the season in a pummeling 42-24 victory at Reliant Stadium.
Despite missing wide receiver Greg Jennings due to a lagging groin injury and running back Cedric Benson who will be out for at least eight weeks with a Lisfranc foot injury, the Packers offense played their best football of the season over top ranked Houston Texans defense.
The Packers have struggled all season long to get on the scoreboard in the first quarter. Green Bay was able to punch in two touchdowns in the first quarter against the Texans, matching their first quarter point’s performance in their five previous games.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with wide receiver Jordy Nelson on a 41 yard pass for the first touchdown in the game on the Packers first drive. Nelson had a season high nine catches for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Also in the first quarter, Rodgers connected with receiver, James Jones for a six yard touchdown. The six-year wide out, punched in another score late to finish off the Texans. Jones has already matched last season’s seven touchdowns six weeks into the 2012 season. This was also Jones’ third consecutive game with two touchdowns. Speedy slot receiver, Randall Cobb also had an extremely productive performance catching seven passes for 102 yards.
Rodgers had a season high through the air passing for 338 yards and six touchdowns; tying a franchise record with ex- Packer Matt Flynn for the most touchdowns throw in a single game. Rodgers was extremely efficient finishing the game with a season best 133.8 passer rating.
Tight-end Jermichael Finely continues to struggle for the Packers with penalties and dropped passes, although ailing a shoulder injury. Luckily back-up tight-end Tom Crabtree picked up the load with two catches for 62 yards and one touchdown.
Green Bay was fortunate enough to get several second chance opportunities which turned into points because of foolish penalties on Houston’s defense and special teams.
A.J Hawk was the Packers anchor on defense, compiling 10 total tackles and one sack. Green Bay’s defense held Texans quarterback Matt Schaub without a touchdown pass. In addition they contained one of the best running backs in the game, Arian Foster to 29 yards on 17 carries. The Packers also forced three turnovers. Rookie cornerback, Casey Hayward continues to make a name for himself picking off Schaub two times. Hayward has an interception in two consecutive games. Also cornerback, Sam Shields snagged his first interception of the year along with having four tackles.
Unfortunately, Green Bay was hit with the injury bug again this week. Linebackers, D.J Smith and Nick Perry both left Sunday’s game with knee injuries. The Packers are becoming very thin at the linebacker position and have yet to find out if either Smith or Perry will miss extensive time.
A well-deserved win brings the Packers back to .500 (3-3) but still sit in third place behind Chicago and Minnesota. Green Bay will be on the road again next week against the St. Louis Rams.
Image Courtesy of Houston Texans