Packers vs. Texans: A Prime Time Comeuppance for Houston

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistOctober 15, 2012

Foster sneaks a peek at the ugliness that is the scoreboard.
Foster sneaks a peek at the ugliness that is the scoreboard.Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

"We got our tails kicked."

Gary Kubiak has a way with words.

Houston suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of the Green Bay Packers 42-24 in a game that was not even as close as the 18-point spread would indicate.

Aaron Rodgers would have beaten any team in football Sunday night. It just so happens he was playing the Houston Texans. Rodgers hung six touchdown passes on the Texans defense, while the Packers bullied the Houston offense into submission.

After Rodgers put up 14 first-quarter points, Houston would only briefly get to within seven points, and the game was no closer than 11 points in the second half.

Jordy Nelson eviscerated Johnathan Joseph and the Texans' secondary to the tune of 121 yards and three scores on nine catches, many of the highlight variety.

The Texans languished on offense as they were unable to establish any consistent run game. Arian Foster picked up just 29 yards on 17 carries, while Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates combined to throw three interceptions.

Mix in a variety of special teams penalties, and Houston never had a chance.

There were few bright spots for a Houston team trying to lay claim to the pole-position in the AFC. The loss dropped them into a tie for the top overall seed in the conference with the Baltimore Ravens, who happen to be the Texans' next opponent.

The play of the secondary was the primary culprit in an all-around dismal effort. J.J. Watt again proved himself dominant in a matchup against then NFL sack leader Clay Matthews. Watt, a Wisconsin native, picked up both Texans' sacks to reclaim the league lead from Matthews, who was shut out.

Despite not getting any sacks, Matthews still played a role in quieting Foster. Duane Brown struggled to keep him out of the backfield early in the game. Afterward he said of Matthews,

He is the real deal. He is a great player. Early on I was trying to feel him out. Once I settled down, I thought I blocked him pretty well. He’s a great player.

While it's true that Green Bay is the first credible opponent the Texans have played, their previous victims had a good weekend for the most part. Houston's combined opponents' record now sits at 14-20, a significant improvement from where it stood earlier.

Houston failed a significant test against the best offense it has faced in 2012, but sill holds a two-and-a-half game lead over Indianapolis in the division.

Losing an out-of-conference matchup to a good team is of no great concern, and if the Texans can rebound with a win over the Ravens in Week 7, they will head into their bye week firmly in control of the top overall seed in the conference.

With other traditional AFC powerhouses like New England and Pittsburgh losing, the Texans can find comfort knowing they still have the inside track on a bye come January.

All quotes courtesy of the Houston Texans PR department.