By Shawn Lealos
The Houston Texans had the AFC South within their grasp, but after three straight losses, the Texans actually fell into a tie for first place with the Tennessee Titans after their loss to the Green Bay Packers despite the fact that the Titans had the week off. The Indianapolis Colts could also make this a three-way tie if they win on Monday night. Here is a look at the Houston Texans’ team grades for this disappointing Week 13 loss.
The Houston Texans’ offense wasn’t as bad as they had been in recent losses. Brock Osweiler didn’t throw an interception in the game and the only turnover for the Texans came on the first drive of the game when Ryan Griffin fumbled, but it didn’t affect the outcome as the Packers fumbled on the next drive. The important thing to remember is that this game this was in Green Bay in the driving snow, so the lack of turnovers was impressive.
Brock Osweiler threw two touchdowns and matched up well with Aaron Rodgers, although Osweiler was at his worst when the Packers blitzed him. Lamar Miller also had a very bad game, running for only 22 yards on 14 carries before Jonathan Grimes and Alfred Blue picked up the load. It was a decent effort in the snow and kept Houston in the game at the end.
Heading into halftime, tied at 7-7 with the Green Bay Packers, the Houston Texans’ defense was really holding their own. Aaron Rodgers only threw for 209 total yards on 20 passes while the Packers’ three running backs, Ty Montgomery, Christine Michael, and James Starks, only combined for 19 carries and 60 yards in rushing. However, the Texans’ defense folded in the fourth quarter against a banged up Aaron Rodgers. On back-to-back drives, Rodgers drove his Packers 98 yards and 89 yards for the two touchdowns that won the game for the Packers.
Special Teams: C-
It is hard to judge special teams in snowy weather. Nick Novak never got a chance for a field goal but missed one of his two extra point tries. Because of that miss, even if Houston came back at the end, they would have needed a two-point conversion as well. Shane Lechler did punt the ball well, putting two of his five inside the 20. Both teams had a decent amount of yards on kick and punt returns, and this was expected in inclement weather.
The coaching was solid here for the Houston Texans. They did what they needed to do to hold onto the ball in bad weather and they did everything they could to stop Aaron Rodgers in the game. The outcome was just the result of Aaron Rodgers having more experience in this kind of weather than Osweiler.
The Houston Texans are now tied for first in the AFC South. The Texans still hold their own destiny thanks to head-to-head results. However, Houston needs to pick up wins in their last three divisional games against the Titans, Colts and Jaguars, and avoid a slip up against the Bengals to do so. Up next is an important game with the Indianapolis Colts, and it’s a must-win for the Texans to hold the tiebreaker.