The Green Bay Packers bounced back from a loss with a 35-20 win over the Houston Texans Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium, although the game wasn’t quite as close as the final score.
Houston’s loss drops its overall record to 1-6 heading into the bye week.
Green Bay held a 21-0 lead at halftime after Aaron Rodgers connected with three different receivers, but the Texans did all their scoring in the second half thanks to touchdown passes from Deshaun Watson to David Johnson and Will Fuller and a pair of Ka’imi Fairbairn field goals. The Houston defense came up with some big second-half stops, and the special teams collected a blocked punt and recovered an onside kick but the offense couldn’t capitalize on the latter opportunity trailing 15 points with 1:30 to play.
“We’re an inconsistent team, and we showed that today,” interim head coach Romeo Crennel said. “We have to try 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. We’ve got some ability when we give the quarterback time. He can make some plays. Defensively, we’re 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.”
Safety Michael Thomas agreed there are plenty of things the squad can work on to be more consistent, including eliminating costly penalties.
“Every team in the NFL has firepower, but we have the capability to make those plays. We just have to be disciplined so that we can be consistent,” Thomas said. “The first drive, we get off the field. It’s about to be a three and out. We make the play. We execute the defense as we were supposed to, and it’s supposed to be getting us off the field, (but) we commit illegal contact and it extends the drive, and they go down and score a touchdown.”
Watson acknowledged the offense left more to be desired against the Packers but looked to take advantage of the open week.
“We could’ve made a run. The biggest thing is, of course, try to get points, regardless of if it’s a touchdown or not. We just didn’t do enough,” Watson said. “We didn’t capitalize getting those extra four points when we needed them. And the defense did a good job of getting us those opportunities, but we just didn’t do it as a whole, as a whole team.”
Watson did complete 29 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns but was sacked three times and finds himself below .500 for the first time in a long time.
“This is new to me, so I’m going through it just like everyone else,” he said of the 1-6 record. “This is my first time experiencing something like this, so I’m just learning on the fly, trying to stay positive, continue to lead the guys, continue to come to work each and every day and try to improve, and just trying to find ways to win, and just continue to play hard, do my job and not try to do too much and just kind of continue to do that.”
Houston joins two other AFC teams in the one-win club through seven weeks of play between the 1-6 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 1-5-1 Cincinnati Bengals, although they all sit above the 0-7 New York jets in the basement of the standings.
The Texans will wrap up their season series with the Jaguars on the road after the bye week on Nov. 8.