Aaron Rodgers only tied a franchise record with six touchdown passes tonight … that’s all.
But everyone in Packers Nation knew it was coming. An Angry Aaron Rodgers was fed up with all the negativity he had been hearing all week after the meltdown in Indy last week. Add to that a defense that showed it’s own brand of aggression and it all added up to a Packers beatdown of the previously undefeated Houston Texans, 42-24.
Capitalizing on some rather stupid penalties, the Packers scored early and often in this one – getting three touchdown catches from a previously quiet Jordy Nelson and two more from James Jones. Add to that a huge touchdown grab from tight end Tom Crabtree at a critical juncture in the game and you have a recipe for a Packers win.
And when the Packers running game also got 65 yards from second year running back Alex Green, the route was on as Green Bay got back to even at 3-3.
“This is a team with a lot of pride … theres on quit in this locker room … We kind of band together. People tried to pull us apart this week and we stuck together. We stuck together and found our motivation in that,” Rodgers said after the game. When asked about whether this could be a turning point for this team, the Packers quarterback said, “I think so. I really do. We talked about it this week getting momentum against a very good fball team.”
It was the most points allowed by a Wade Phillips-coached team in Houston, but Rodgers has always played well against the former Bills, Dallas and wherever else he’s been a head coach. In fact, Rodgers has never lost to a Phillips-coached team.
In his post-game comments, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the Packers came to play, no matter what the team records were before the game.
“I don’t think it really mattered what the records were. Two teams tonight, we knew when the season started this was a very good football team. When we had an opportunity to view our schedule, we knew the first few weeks were going to be a little bit of a challenge because it was just different and then the three road games with the one in the middle on Sunday Night Football. We have a lot of respect for Gary Kubiak and his staff, and their team, and the video they put forth going into the game. We really, truly stayed focused on improving ourselves and that will always be our message and our approach, and with that I was pleased with the way we played.”
And when talking about defeating an unbeaten team, McCarthy said that he was pleased that his team stayed focused on the goal of winning the game:
“We won a football game. Tough week is really kind of your viewpoint, not ours. I thought our team did a very good job staying focused on what it’s really about and that’s the preparation phase of it, staying in tune and getting ready to play these guys in this environment. We were able to accomplish that, but our goal is we need to go into St. Louis and we need to win two games-in-a-rows. That’s our focus and stack success for the first time this year.”
Consider what James Jones told Jason Wilde of ESPN last night. He told us a lot about Aaron Rodgers with a single quote:
“I don’t think he was mad, but I ain’t never seem him that focused. He was extremely focused today. You could see it in his eyes. You could see it when he talked to us. You know, he calls us up before every game, and he was just like, ‘I’m going to be the lead dog. Follow me. I’m going to make some plays. I haven’t been playing that well. I’m going to make some plays.’ I think he was just extremely focused tonight, and it showed up out there on the field. He made some crazy throws, some great plays with his legs.”
If there was a negative to come out of this game, it was the injuries. McCarthy said the injuries to D.J. Smith and Brandon Saine were “significant.” Also going down were Sam Shields and first round draft choice Nick Perry.
And like McCarthy said, celebrating this one will be short-lived as the Packers start preparing early in the week to play a much-improved St. Louis Rams team under the guidance of longtime NFL coach Jeff Fischer.
The Packers travel to St. Louis next Sunday for a noon start to conclude their three-game road trip. After that, the Packers come home to Lambeau Field for two straight – playing the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Oct. 28, and then hosting the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Complete statistics, courtesy of si.com, are provided below: