By Jeff Kerr, USA Today
Gurley gave the Lions an opportunity to win the game by not going down short of the end zone
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If there was any concern about the Packers’ ability to rebound from a blowout loss, we can probably go ahead and throw those concerns out the window. One week after getting trounced by Tampa Bay, the Packers responded by pulling off one of their best all-around performances of the season in a 35-20 win over the Houston Texans. Aaron Rodgers painted another offensive masterpiece with 283 passing yards and four touchdowns.
The Packers didn’t have running back Aaron Jones in this game, but as it turned out, they didn’t actually need him, because they had Rodgers and Davante Adams to carry the offense. A healthy Adams is nearly impossible to stop, and he proved that on Sunday. The Packers receiver caught 13 passes for a career-high 196 yards, which also serves as the eighth-highest single-game total in franchise history.
It became clear pretty early in the game that the Texans were going to have a few problems covering Adams. For instance, on this third-and-9 in the first quarter, Adams was covered well, but then Rodgers made a fantastic throw that was followed by an even better catch:
Rodgers credited that completion as the one that got the Packers’ offense rolling on Sunday.
“It was really the catch down the left sideline on third down that got us going,” Rodgers said after the game, via NBC 15. “With some beautiful late hands by [Adams] … when he’s in the game, obviously we’re tough.”
The 28-yard throw to Adams was actually one of two catches of more than 25 yards that he had on the drive. Two plays later, Adams would catch a 36-yard pass that set the Packers up at Houston’s 5-yard line. The Packers eventually scored a touchdown on the drive to go up 14-0, and after that, the blowout was on.
Rodgers and Adams connected at key times in this game. Not only did they convert the third-and-9 above, but later in the game, the Packers converted a third-and-4 after Rodgers hit Adams with a 45-yard touchdown pass.
The was TD was one of seven times where the duo connected on third down. To make that stat even crazier, just consider this: The Packers converted 7 of 12 third downs in the game and Adams was on the receiving end on ALL seven conversions (third-and-goal, third-and-1, third-and-4, third-and-5, third-and-7, third-and-9, third-and-10).
On almost every third down, it was pretty clear where Rodgers was going with the ball, but the Texans still couldn’t stop it. Although the Packers offense had a hiccup last week, it doesn’t look like that loss is going to have any long-term effects. The Packers still look like one of the best offenses in the NFC, if not the best, and they looked like that even though they were missing a key player in Jones.
Alright, let’s get to the grades for every game from Week 7. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on the Giants-Eagles game that was played Thursday, be sure to click here.
Green Bay 35-20 over Houston
Packers-Texans grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Detroit 23-22 over Atlanta
New Orleans 27-24 over Detroit
Buffalo 18-10 over N.Y. Jets
Washington 25-3 over Dallas
Cowboys-Washington grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Cleveland 37-34 over Cincinnati
Browns-Bengals grades by Josh Edwards (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Pittsburgh 27-24 over Tennessee
Steelers-Titans grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tampa Bay 45-20 over Las Vegas
Buccaneers-Raiders grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
San Francisco 33-6 over New England
49ers-Patriots grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
L.A. Chargers 39-29 over Jacksonville
Kansas City 43-16 over Denver