Home » Blog » AFC South-leading Texans come up short against Packers

AFC South-leading Texans come up short against Packers

As pro-wrestling legend Ric Flair was always so keen to tell his foes: to be the man you gotta beat the man. The Houston Texans desperately want to be the man, but on Sunday Night Football they couldn’t beat the man. In fact, they couldn’t even get close.

The Texans-Packers clash on Sunday Night Football put a close to another week in the AFC South, a week that also saw a surprise win for the Titans and an emphatic loss for the Colts.


Green Bay Packers 42, Houston Texans 24

In what many feel was the team's first 'real' opposition of the season, Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans fell to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

The chaotic and unpredictable start to the NFL season saw Green Bay arrive at Reliant Stadium not only with a losing record but also as underdogs. Meanwhile, the unbeaten Texans were well and truly on the way to the Super Bowl, at least according to some experts.

By the end of the game, Green Bay (3-3) looked like Green Bay and the bubble might have burst for Houston (5-1).

With a record Reliant Stadium crowd of 71,702 looking on, Matt Schaub put on a mediocre display, throwing for 232 yards on 20/33 passing with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Arian Foster punched the ball into the endzone twice, but ultimate carried for just 29 yards. All in all, Houston was unable to find any kind of offensive rhythm.

Meanwhile, the Packers followed last week’s upset loss to the Indianapolis Colts with a highlight reel worthy performance that saw Aaron Rodgers pass for six touchdowns – tying Matt Flynn’s franchise record – while collecting 338 yards on 24/37 passing.

For the first time this season, Green Bay looked like the awe-inspiring side that ran away with the NFC North last season, and begged the question are the real Packers back?

The deflating loss casts a shadow over Houston’s actual capabilities this season. Prior to Sunday night’s game, the toughest opponents the Texans had faced were Denver and the New York Jets, two teams that have been decidedly hot-and-cold this season. Everything else was a cakewalk, meaning the Green Bay game was the first to offer a true test.

Falling at hurdle number one, Houston will host Baltimore (5-1) next weekend, a matchup that will certainly be considered hurdle number two.

Fortunately for Houston’s football fans, the rest of the Texans’ schedule looks straightforward – a trip to New England aside – which means this team is all but guaranteed a postseason berth. Sunday’s performance suggests that there may be some way to go yet before we should consider the Texans as title contenders just yet.

Up Next: Vs. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)


Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Tennessee Titans 26

Action in the AFC South kicked off way back on Thursday, as the Titans hosted the Steelers.

Viewed as a Steeler walkover by some, the game turned out to be the first of eight upsets on the Week 6 slate, as Tennessee won on a last second Rob Bironas field goal.

Pittsburgh (2-3) kicked a field goal with 8:18 left in the fourth to lead 23-16. Matt Hasselbeck – spelling the injured Jake Locker for a second week running – then led the Titans up the field, culminating the drive with a five yard toss to Kenny Britt.

Pittsburgh had a chance again take the lead with a field goal but Shaun Suisham missed from 54 yards. Hasselbeck then mounted an unlikely comeback, moving the team into range for a game-winning 40-yarder as time expired, completing the upset victory.

Hasselbeck on the day was 25 of 44 for 290 yards with one touchdown and one pick. Chris Johnson – averaging a paltry 42 yards coming into the game – gained 91 yards on the ground on 19 carries.

The win – which follows an overtime victory over Detroit in Week 3 – is just the second Titans win of the season. The team now heads to upstate New York to take on the Buffalo Bills.

Up Next: at Buffalo Bills (3-3)


Indianapolis Colts 9, New York Jets 35

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts failed to build on last week's upset of the Packers, falling to the Jets on Sunday,

In the wake of head coach Chuck Pagano being diagnosed with leukemia, Indianapolis was buoyed by an upset win over Green Bay last week. The Colts were looking for more of the same as they visited MetLife Stadium for a showdown with the shaky Jets.

Book-ended between the two nationally broadcast games, the remaining AFC South fixture was a torrid affair – for the Colts at least – that saw none of the good play and good fortune demonstrated in knocking off the Packers last week.

Andrew Luck threw for 280 yards on 22/44 passing. The No. 1 pick threw two interceptions however, and failed to register a touchdown pass. In fact, the Colts as a team failed to cross the goal line, settling for three Adam Viniatieri field goals.

The Jets meanwhile dusted off poor performances of late and racked up a massive 252 yards on the ground, including 161 from Shonn Greene. Mark Sanchez – perpetually on the hot seat this season it would appear – managed the game and led the Jets (3-3) to a 35-9 victory.

Indianapolis (2-3) will not shake off the result and head home to take on the Cleveland Browns, a game that sees the Colts favored by 3½-points at opening.

Up Next: Vs. Cleveland Browns (1-5)


Jacksonville Jaguars Take a Much Needed Rest

With just one win on the books, Jacksonville (1-4) was idle this week, enjoying (perhaps) a bye week before making the near 3,000-mile journey to Oakland (1-4) on Sunday.

Whilst football fans will avoid this game like a biblical plague, both sides will look at it as an opportunity to gain a second win and perhaps a second wind, kickstarting an improved run of play. As unlikely as that sounds for these perennial doormats, stranger things have happened.

Betting lines open with the Raiders being favored by five.

Up Next: at Oakland Raiders (1-4)

  • 100%