In what many hoped to be their prime-time coming out party, the Houston Texans were beaten into the grass of Reliant Stadium by the Green Bay Packers, a desperate Packer team, with multiple chips on their shoulders dating back to the week two Monday Night Football. The Pack simply wanted this game more than the Texans, Aaron Rodgers and the Pack came out looking to make a statement, and a giant statement they made.
Plain and simple, the Texans were outplayed, the Packers defense smothered Arian Foster, limiting him to 29 yards, and the Packers’ offense simply outgunned the Texans, and capitalized on their mistakes. From head scratching penalties, to the blown coverages for huge gains, the Texans defense looked like a shadow of its former self, can it be attributed to the loss of Brian Cushing? Maybe, but looking at the way Aaron Rodgers played, he had forever and a day in the pocket due to the high level of player from his offensive line, and Rodgers was also getting the ball off just in time to get it to his receiver, and avoiding a sack. The Packers, at this point in the season, are the better team and it showed, and to be a realist of sorts, you could say that this team needed a wake-up call of sorts. Rather than live in a fantasy world of “nothing is wrong with this team” and then getting exposed when it matters, I feel that it gives us a benchmark of what we did wrong.
This might just have been the toughest all around opponent the Texans will face all year, and by far the toughest test thus far, and to make things tougher, the Texans will be facing a familiar foe in the Baltimore Ravens next week, not in prime-time, but in the Texans’ “comfort zone” so to speak of the early game on CBS.
Despite all the clamor of things that we did wrong, this is no time to hit the panic button, there is time for the team to correct their mistakes and face a team they will likely face in the playoffs, in the Ravens, and unfortunately, the Texans will be facing a banged up Ravens team, who may have just lost Ray Lewis for the year to torn triceps, MRI’s to come soon. Shutdown corner Ladarius Webb suffered a knee injury, and pro-bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is battling knee and shoulder injuries.
The Texans have a good amount of time to get prepared and fix mistakes, this loss by no means does not show that the Texans are not the “real deal”. it simply means that the Texans have to adjust to life without Cushing, tighten up the running game, and learning how to play from behind.
This game should not be remembered for the pounding and embarrassment the Texans received from the Packers, but as a reminder as the to the level of play elite teams play at and how they have to elevate their play to match, and outplay the other elite teams the Texans will face.
– Richard Perez