Green Bay Packers 21 – 13 Houston Texans
The AFC south leading Houston Texans traveled to a snow swept Green Bay to face off against a Green Bay Packers team looking to build some momentum on their journey back to .500. After both teams started slow, the Packers put forth a solid second half offensive performance to win 21-13, putting them level with the Minnesota Vikings in second place for the NFC North, holding onto a chance for a shot at the crown.
Snow! It’s Packers Christmas
This may be a childish key moment, but it’s never truly the holiday season until we get our first Lambeau game with snow. To me, there are few sights in sports more beautiful and emotive. With this game, and a win, it’s officially time to gear up for December football and get the Michael Bublé Christmas album on the go as we march onto an exciting NFC North final month.
First Quarter Fumble Fest
The game started about as pretty as you expect it to with sleet and snow falling. Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter forced a fumble by Texans tight end Ryan Griffin that safety Morgan Burnett recovered. Returning this to the Houston 24-yard line, the Packers offense then saw Aaron Rodgers fumble the ball away at the Houston 2.
This did grant us, however, the great piece of commentary that “It looked like Aaron Rodgers pulled out a little too quick”. Surely a sound drop for the ages among Packer podcasts.
Bombs Away to Jordy – Key Moment
While the offense has looked much better, almost itself at times, over the last few weeks it has still been lacking on feature we all love – the deep ball to Jordy Nelson. With the game tied 7-7, and the Houston offense seeming anaemic, the early 4th quarter was the perfect time for its emergence. A blown coverage caused by Houston cornerback Charles James taking a tumble in the snow left Nelson open enough to essentially fair catch a 32 yard touchdown.
Jordy is quietly sitting 1 touchdown out of 1st place for receiving TDs this year with 10 (Antonio Brown, 11), and is surely a candidate for comeback player of the year.
Quietly Healing Defense
Now, I temper this point with some reality. This defense has not been playing against world beaters on offense the last two weeks in the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans. Nonetheless, some credit must be given to them achieving the amount of stops required for this team to be headed in the right direction in the wins and losses column.
They managed to make Texans QB Brock Osweiler look merely like an average quarterback, rather than 2013 Peyton Manning like some of us expected. The defense is getting healthier (although this game saw Jake Ryan and Nick Perry both hurt) and this could bode well for the Packers down the stretch.
Ty Montgomery Player of the Week Award
This week, the award goes to none other than Jordy Nelson. Having arguably played his most impressive game of the season with 8 receptions on 10 targets for 118 yards and that all important 32 yard touchdown. Houston did an excellent job of taking away Davante Adams after his strong showing over the past four months, but if Jordy continues his return to form there is little that opponents will be able to do to limit both Adams and Nelson from making big plays.
- The Packers are still in with a chance at the NFC North — Sure, New Orleans beating Detroit would’ve been ideal. Even without that though, if the Packers can win out and get a little help from the seemingly unstoppable Dallas juggernaut, they can still pip the Lions to the post.
- While that is possible, my prediction is still a 9-7 Packers team who narrowly miss out on the playoffs, but do just enough that the trio of McCarthy, Capers and Thompson all keep their jobs.
- This will be the 7th edition of this column, and I just wanted to take a knee jerk reactionary moment to thank you guys for reading so far! It’s been my first go round at writing a sports column, and it’s been great fun interacting with a number of you on twitter about the column. Keep it up, and tell your friends about PTTF!