In four games rolling under the public radar, the Houston Texans looked like the most complete team in the NFL. In two games under the lights of prime time, the Houston Texans have looked like, well, the Houston Texans.
Following a Monday Night Football struggle to beat the New York Jets, the Texans on NBC’s Sunday Night Football were thoroughly whooped by the depleted but desperate Green Bay Packers, 42-24, before the largest regular season crowd ever at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
“We got our tails kicked,” is how Texans head coach Gary Kubiak put it.
While history will tell us that Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes in knocking Houston from the unbeaten, it is quickly becoming obvious that it is not the 2011 NFL MVP who will be remembered as the player who knocked the Texans from superior to mediocre.
That infamous distinction belongs to Jets guard Matt Slausen, whose controversial second quarter cut block of Texans linebacker Brian Cushing cost Houston more than its 2011 defensive MVP and leader. Slausen’s blindside helmet to Cushing’s left knee cost the Texans their swag.
None of the Texans appeared to address the absence of Cushing after this one. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, in saying it did not affect his game planing, summed up the impact those in the Houston locker room could not or would not bring themselves to admit:
“He’s an outstanding player,” McCarthy said. “I mean, clearly he’s probably the most productive player on a very good defense coming into the game.”
The most productive player on Sunday night was Rodgers, who started fast, throwing scoring passes to James Jones and Jordy Nelson for a 14-0 first-quarter lead that knocked Houston off balance and began the process of forcing the Texans away from the ball-control attack that serves them best. » Continue reading “Packers Hand Houston Texas-sized Whoopin’”