Game Recap: Packers Bounce Back in Week 7, Top Texans 35-20

Sarah Kelliher recaps the Packers’ week seven win against the Texans.  

After a tough loss last week, the Green Bay Packers (5-1, 2-0 NFC North) bounced back with a big 35-20 win over the Houston Texans (1-6, 1-1 AFC South) in week seven. With the 30th ranked defense in the NFL, Houston was not exactly top-tier competition, but this game was the perfect opportunity for Green Bay to bounce back, showcase some of their talent and find their rhythm again. 

For the sixth time this season, the Packers got things rolling early and scored on their opening drive. After Green Bay was bailed out on third down, thanks to an illegal hands to the face penalty, they never looked back and marched down the field for a total of 75 yards and 10 plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers found his favorite wide receiver, Davante Adams, for the 3-yard score. It was the first time the two connected in the endzone since week one.  

Green Bay’s defense, after reading all your tweets of course, came out with something to prove too. They applied consistent pressure on their opening drive and forced a three and out after cornerback Josh Jackson, with help from linebacker Preston Smith, had a nice third-down stop in the backfield.

The Packers responded with a three and out of their own, but the defense came through again and was able to force the Texans to punt on their next drive.  From there, it was all Davante all the time. On the Packers’ next drive Adams had an 8-yard catch for a first down, a monster 28-yard catch on 3rd and 9 and a 36-yard catch to put Green Bay in scoring position. To celebrate National Tight End, it was only fitting that Rodgers connected with tight end Jace Sternberger for his first regular-season career touchdown to extend Green Bay’s lead to 14-0.

The d-train continued to march on forcing the Texans to put yet again. Linebacker Za’Darius Smith had the highlight of the next drive after sacking Texan’s quarterback Deshaun Watson for a loss of 6-yards.

The Packers couldn’t find anything on the next drive either, so it was up to the defense to come up with another stop. Former Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb killed the Packers on the next drive with a triplet of catches for 8-yards, 28-yards and 14-yards to put the Texans in field goal position. However, the Packers kept the Texans off the board again, as the 41-yard field goal attempt was no good.

With just 2:38 left in the half, the Packers had the opportunity to extend their lead by three scores. Doing what he does best, Rodgers managed the clock methodically and brought Green Bay into the red zone after connecting with Adams for a pair of first downs and a strong run from running back Jamaal Williams. Rodgers then connected with wide receiver Malik Taylor for a 1-yard touchdown to extend Green Bay’s lead to 21-0 at the half. The 1-yard reception was the first of Taylor’s career.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Texans were finally able to find the endzone after Watson connected with running back David Johnson for a 3-yard score to make it 21-7. The Packers, however, were unphased by the Texans score and responded with a deep 45-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams to extend their lead to 28-7.

Adams’ touchdown would be the last score that quarter after both Green Bay and Houston were forced to punt on their next drives. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Texans cut the Packers lead to 28-13 after hitting field goals on back-to-back drives.   

The Texans had the chance to make it a one score game late in the fourth quarter, but Preston Smith came up with a huge tackle for a loss on 4th and 1 to put the ball back in Green Bay’s hands. From there, the Packers pretty much sealed the deal after going 46 yards in 7 plays before Williams rushed in for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 35-13.

To their credit, the Texans put up a fight until the end though, scoring a 6-yard touchdown with 1:33 left to make it 35-20. Houston even recovered their onside kick attempt at the end of the game, but on the first play of the drive, Packers’ safety Henry Black forced a fumble and it was recovered by safety Adrian Amos to oficially seal the deal for Green Bay.  

With a bounce back win, stellar performances by Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams and a few key plays from the defense, there was plenty to takeaway from the Packers week seven win.

 

What we learned: The Packers forgot about the loss last week and you should too

If you are still talking about the Packers week six loss to Tampa Bay, Sunday’s game was a sign that you should simply stop. This is a very good football team and sometimes even the most talented teams have an off week, can be get outplayed and lose. How Green Bay would respond to that loss was what was important, and their performance Sunday proved that Tampa Bay is a thing of their past and they are ready to look forward.  

Yes, the Texans are not the best or even one of the best teams in the NFL, but that does not discredit what Green Bay was able to do and how important it was for them to connect offensively again. Just like Matt LaFleur says, each week all the Packers need to focus on is going 1-0. They went 1-0 this week and looked damn good doing it. That is all that matters.

 

What went right: 12 to 17

Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams had not connected in the end zone since week one in Minnesota, so we were certainly due for a big game from these two sooner or later. It turns out Sunday was the perfect opportunity for them to reconnect.    

Rodgers went 23/34 for 283 yards, 4 TDS and finished with a 132.4 passing rating (ESPN stats) Sunday and found Adams 13 different times throughout the day. Adams was just one reception shy of the franchise record for most receptions in a single game (14), which he is also currently tied for. His 13 receptions totaled for 196 yards and 2 TDs (ESPN stats) and was the most yards by a Packers wide receiver since Jordy Nelson had 209 in 2014, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

 

What went wrong: Not recovering the onside kick (but only for a moment)

There was not a lot that went wrong in this game but if I had to be picky and choose something, it would be not recovering the onside kick at the end of the game. Although it turned out to be harmless, thanks to a forced fumble from Henry Black, against a better team and with a closer score, the Packers need to be able to recover onside kicks. They have been burned by this in the past and I would hate to see it happen again in the future.

 

Offensive MVP: Davante Adams

With a career performance, it was clear that Davante Adams was the offense MVP for Green Bay on Sunday. After missing a few games due to a hamstring injury, Adams looks 100 percent healthy again and just torched the Texans’ defense throughout the day.  

 

Defensive MVP: Preston Smith and Raven Greene

I do not know if things just started to click this week for Preston Smith or if he saw all your tweets and got pissed off, but Smith finally looked more like himself this week for Green Bay. The box score does not reflect how strong his performance was (according to ESPN stats he had 3 total tackles, 2 of which were solo and 1 TFL) but he was applying a ton of pressure on the Texans’ offense and looked a lot more active in the open field. His key fourth down tackle for a loss was one of the highlights of the game.

Safety Raven Greene also had a nice showing Sunday and was all over the field for the Packers. He led the team on the defensive front with a team high 8 tackles, 5 of which were solo, and 2 pass deflections (ESPN stats).

 

Here’s a look at some of your favorite takeaways!

  • “Great answer to an awful performance last week!  The run defense seems to be improving and it was nice to see @PrestonSmith94 have a great game today!  #GoPackGo” - @eric_erolson7

 

 

 

Up next, the Green Bay Packers get a visit from the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Kickoff is set for Sunday, November 1 at 1 p.m. EST.

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV and a podcaster with Pack-A-Day Podcast. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

4 points

Comments (18)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Lphill's picture

October 25, 2020 at 04:24 pm

This was a game the Packers are supposed to win .

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PatrickGB's picture

October 25, 2020 at 04:30 pm

I was worried that our injuries would come to bite us in the butt. Yet the backups did well. Especially the Oline did pretty good.

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WisconsinStrong's picture

October 25, 2020 at 04:40 pm

And the journalistic MVP goes to Sarah Kelliher, for this specific line: "Green Bay’s defense, after reading all your tweets of course, came out with something to prove too." Love the detailed and reflective review. Adding shout-outs to Jamaal Williams, Malik Taylor, the far-too-often-disparaged Billy Turner and Ricky Wagner, and still-beloved ex-Packer Randall Cobb.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

October 25, 2020 at 04:57 pm

What stood out for me was the improved tackling. My favorite was Raven Greene - perhaps the best tackler on the team. Also Barnes rarely misses and Martin appears to be at the same level. Even the fill-ins Scott and Black had impressive plays. It may be with this cast on how the D will evolve and improve.

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Hematite's picture

October 25, 2020 at 05:08 pm

Who in the hell is Henry Black?

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Alberta_Packer's picture

October 25, 2020 at 05:29 pm

Good question - which prompted a little research. Of course undrafted - played at Baylor where he was awarded a single-digit as one of the team's toughest players. He certainly played to form on his hit-fumble.

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Johnblood27's picture

October 25, 2020 at 07:34 pm

Meet Henry Black...

Starring Brad Pitt...

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Thegravedigger's picture

October 26, 2020 at 01:28 am

I am henry black. We. Are henry black.

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Coldworld's picture

October 25, 2020 at 08:00 pm

I hope Greene and Barnes aren’t out for long. Greene makes Pettine’s D function better when he is healthy. Can Scott grow into that role too because Greene has had injuries?

Martin and Scott are young players I am excited to see more of and Jackson, whom I wrote off after last week, also seems to have played well.

This was a good offense we played against. They have a mobile QB if the sort that has given us fits. Despite their poor run game, bottling them up is not to be sniffed at.

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Thegravedigger's picture

October 26, 2020 at 01:26 am

Montravious and k clark together also were tough in the trenches. But yeah these depth guys are fun to watch, especially raven greene who is becoming a key guy out there in the middle.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 25, 2020 at 07:35 pm

Houston had scored 20 or more points in 5 of 6 games, including a loss in KC 20-34. The only team that scored more against them was Tennessee, in overtime. We did a very good job on them, both sides of the ball.

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JRome Coaxum's picture

October 25, 2020 at 09:39 pm

Called Barnes a Gem in the Draft. Excited to see him blossom. Hopefully injury is not bad. Martin looks good. Excited to see together what they bring. Like Scott. He seems to hit hard. Jackson look good. Even with that bs DPI last week. And Adams looking better. The D will get better.

We need 1 more player on O. To take the top off. That mental boost would give this team another attitude.

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PackersWinning's picture

October 25, 2020 at 10:03 pm

And...Gary is still a zero / bust. Arod has a few senior moments where he does not adjust at the line and the back gets slaughtered. Hats off to the young no name db’s for stepping up. If Summers and Burke’s have to plan against Minnesota, make sure you have Cook on your fantasy team. Those guys are budget versions of Gary....just horrible football players.

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Thegravedigger's picture

October 26, 2020 at 01:14 am

I wouldnt call gary a bust just yet. He gets pressure and had a sack today on a free play for watson which couldvve been bad. Hes not a superstar but he has the potential. in year 2 he is a productive packer. Burks is lost. Ill give u that.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

October 26, 2020 at 06:57 pm

Gary a bust is ridiculous. He’s not even half way through his second season. By your terms Davante Adams is a bust too.

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cinpackback's picture

October 25, 2020 at 10:44 pm

I didn’t get the opportunity to see the game today. Always helps to know I’ll have Sarah’s great synopsis to bring me up to speed. Good Birthday gift- GPG!

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Mojo's picture

October 25, 2020 at 11:59 pm

Best game of the season for the D. They actually had a couple of three and outs.

I understand the concept of the prevent defense with a big lead, but could Pettine bring the 20 yard cushion down to maybe ten?

D. Adams shows how to catch a ball running at full speed. MVS doesn't have that ability. He can't contort his body like many of the top receivers can and he has poor hand-eye coordination. The ball has to be aimed right at his belly or hands, else it's unlikely he hangs on.

Jamal Williams is one tough SOB. Liked his one cut-back run. He should do that more often which has made Aaron Jones career.

O-line did what it needed to. You don't want to go without Bakh too long, but Turner and Wagner earned this weeks paychecks.

The Pack coasted to victory even with a hodgepodge in the second and third levels of the D, their best tackle and RB out against a bad Houston team playing at home (does that matter anyway?).

Did what they needed to do - good win.

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Thegravedigger's picture

October 26, 2020 at 01:18 am

Yeah i hear u on the cushion stuff. 3rd n 15 late in the 4th n the d is about 12 yrds back??? Deshaun runs for 14 yards easily. You know there gonna go for it. Seemed a little too easy. But p smith made the play.

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