FOX 25/48 Football Insider
By Marty Hendricks
Oct. 15, 2012
So this is what a complete game by the Green Bay Packers looks like.
Six touchdown passes by Aaron Rodgers. Three touchdown receptions by Jordy Nelson. Three turnovers created by the defense, including two interceptions by Casey Hayward. Except for a blocked punt late in the fourth quarter, an inspired performance by special team units, which included a big hit on the opening kickoff that set the aggressive tone for the Packers.
It all added up to a convincing 42-24 victory over the Houston Texans Sunday night which evened Green Bay's overall record at 3-3 and 1-1 on its current three-game road trip.
Before a nationwide audience, Rodgers silenced critics with a career-high and franchise record-tying six touchdown passes in a MVP-caliber performance against the unbeaten Texans at Reliant Stadium.
Rodgers nearly flawlessly directed an efficient offense and completed 24 of 37 passes for 338 yards with no interceptions and a 143.8 quarterback rating.
Asked what he'd told his critics tonight in a post-game on-field television interview, Rodgers had a one-word answer: "Shhhhh."
Nelson showed some of his big-play ability from 2011, catching 9 passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns. James Jones caught two touchdown passes, including a spectacular one-handed grab of an 18-yard pass for the final Green Bay score in the fourth quarter.
Randall Cobb was also effective with 7 receptions for 102 yards and rookie Alex Green provided enough rushing prowess with 65 yards on 22 carries to keep the Texans and one-man wrecking crew J.J. Watt honest.
Nelson caught 41- and 21-yard touchdowns in the first half, and then snared a difficult 1-yard high fade in the corner of the end zone with a defender draped all over him in the third quarter for a commanding 28-10 Green Bay lead.
Unlike last week in Indy, the Packers did not squander the margin.
What may well be even more impressive than the offense's performance was that of Dom Capers' defense against one of the NFL's most potent offenses.
Green Bay's much-maligned and injury-riddled unit limited Arian Foster, one of the NFL's top running backs, to just 29 yards in 17 carries for a paltry 1.7-yard per rush average.
The Green Bay defense also forced two interceptions from the usual steady Matt Schaub and limited the Texans to just 90 net rushing yards.
"Congratulations to Green Bay," Houston head coach Gary Kubiak said. "Boy, they came in here and got after us pretty good. They played great. We got our butts kicked."
Yes they did.
And the tone was set on the opening kickoff, when linebacker Robert Francois drilled the Houston returner with a big hit. The Texans also contributed to their own demise with several crucial penalties on third downs that gave Packer drives new life.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said his team put together "Our most complete football game. . . all three phases for four quarters."
The Packers had three more defensive starters—Nick Perry (knee), D.J. Smith (knee), and Sam Shields (shin) go down Sunday night.
Next up for Green Bay are the Rams in St. Louis Sunday on FOX 25/48.