Some players shined while others fell short of their expectations in the Green Bay Packers’ Week 7 victory over the Houston Texans.
The Green Bay Packers got back to their winning ways, leaving Houston with a victory on Sunday and moving to 5-1 in this young season. It was an impressive bounce-back performance against a Texans’ squad whose much better than their 1-5 record indicates.
With a number of key players missing for the Packers, they saw players step up across the board. Without further ado, let’s check out the studs and duds from Sunday’s victory.
Davante Adams was unstoppable on Sunday, racking up 13 receptions (one short of tying the franchise record) for 196 yards (a career-high) and two touchdowns. Nobody on the Texans’ defense could stop him, as he turned them in circles route after route. Adams has come to play this season and is cementing himself as one of the top wideouts in the NFL.
Although we heard Adams’ name called a ton, Jaire Alexander was hardly mentioned. And that’s a good thing for a cornerback. While Alexander was covering the Texans’ best receiver Will Fuller, Deshaun Watson only targeted him once and failed to complete the pass. Alexander is one of the best coverage corners in the NFL and has routinely taken away opposing team’s best pass-catchers so far this season.
Finally, Preston Smith decided to show up for a game in 2020. Smith’s abysmal start to the season has led to the Packers’ struggling to get after the quarterback and win the battle at the line of scrimmage. Although the box score won’t show a huge game for Smith, he got after Watson and did a tremendous job setting the edge and forcing Houston’s ball-carriers to search elsewhere for daylight. Now let’s see if he can carry the momentum into next week.
It’s been a shuffle all season long for the offensive line, as they’ve had to work around injuries to Lane Taylor, Billy Turner and now David Bakhtiari. With Bakhtiari missing the game against the Texans, Billy Turner slid over to left tackle while Rick Wagner started at right tackle. As they have all season long, the offensive line held it together and prevented Aaron Rodgers from getting sacked at all. Hopefully, Bakhtiari can return soon, but this was a promising performance from some of their backups.
The Packers continue to search for the elusive nickel or dime hybrid player who can play near the line of scrimmage, provide support in the run game and cover when needed. Raven Greene was thought to be that player, and maybe he’ll turn out to be, however, he had a rough game on Sunday. He was targeted multiple times in the passing game and always appeared to be a step or two behind his receiver. Green Bay needs a better performance out of Greene moving forward.
Green Bay’s special team units were a weakness against the Texans. They gave up a blocked punt, allowed Houston to recover an onside kick and weren’t sharp in the return game. This is really the first time all season they’ve been a liability, and they have a lot of things they need to clean up for next week.
Wide receivers not named Davante Adams
Yes, Adams had a huge day, but nobody else at his position stepped up. All other receivers not named Adams had two receptions for six yards (all by Malik Taylor) while being targeted seven times. Marquez Valdes-Scantling failed to haul in a reception on any of his four targets and was non-existent in this game. The Packers can get away with this against the likes of the Texans, but they’ll need someone else to come to play against better competition.
With Christian Kirksey still out and Krys Barnes going down with an injury in this game, Ty Summers suddenly found himself as the Packers’ starting inside linebacker. It’s safe to say it didn’t go so well. Summers gave up a touchdown reception to David Johnson and was generally slow in getting to the ball-carriers. Rookie Kamal Martin looked a lot crisper and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Martin pass Summers on the depth chart now that he’s back from the injured reserve.