Packers @ Texans
The Packers dominated the trenches on both sides of the ball, and this game was never really competitive. The Texans held Green Bay to under 100 rushing yards, only allowed one receiver to break the 40-yard mark, blocked a punt, recovered an onside kick, and still couldn’t make this a close game. Aaron Rodgers had plenty of time in the pocket to find Davante Adams, and it turns out when you have one receiver pushing for almost 200 yards you don’t really need much else, especially when your running game is good enough to consistently move the chains. The Texans could have really used an elite receiver like that, as their offense was held in check for the entire first half and most of the second half. The Packers led from the first drive of the game on and coasted to a 35-20 win.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers: 23/34, 283 yards, 4 TDs
Aaron Rodgers bounced back after a tough outing last week by easily picking apart the Texans for four touchdowns. He made one bad throw when he threw behind Davante Adams for what would have been a long gain, but Rodgers came back the next play to do this:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 25, 2020
Rodgers was throwing to wide open players like that for most of the game, as the Texans defense could not generate any pressure and failed to stop the run or contain Adams. Rodgers added three short touchdown passes and probably could have had a monster performance if the Texans had been any type of competitive on offense. As long as his offensive line protects him, which they did today, Rodgers is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Jamaal Williams: 19 carries, 77 yards, 1 TDs | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 37 yards
A.J. Dillon: 5 carries, 11 yards
With Aaron Jones held out of the game today due to a calf strain, Jamaal Williams got the start. He consistently ran well, showing good vision to find the holes his offensive line created and hitting the hole quickly to keep generating solid runs. Most of the work was done by the offensive line, but Williams did a good job of taking advantage of his line being able to push around the defense. He’s always looked comfortable in the passing game, and he’s a safe start for as long as Jones remained sidelined. He was tackled just short of the endzone on several drives, so it was nice to see the team reward his effort late by letting him punch one in after using play-action when they got near the goal line on their previous drives. Rookie A.J. Dillon was expected to get more run today, but he struggled to get anything going. He slipped on one of his carries, missed the hole on another, and then was a non-factor for the rest of the game.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Davante Adams: 16 targets, 13 receptions, 196 yards, 2 TDs
Malik Taylor: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 6 yards, 1 TDs
Robert Tonyan: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 32 yards
Jace Sternberger: 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards, 1 TD
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 4 targets | 1 carry, 9 yards
Davante Adams is good at football, and defenses probably don’t want to let him have single coverage as often as the Texans did today. Adams made it look easy, getting wide open frequently, and even when he was covered he was able to make catches through traffic. On a key third-down, Rodgers threw to Adams while Adams still had several steps left in his route, but Adams was able to adjust just in time to come down with the ball despite the defender being right on him. He got started early, scoring a short touchdown on a pretty nice route, and never looked back on his way to a dominant performance.
— QB List (@TheQBlist) October 25, 2020
The Texans’ decision to not send help towards Adams becomes even worse when you look at what the other receivers were able to do for the Packers. Marquez Valdes-Scantling looked out of sync with Rodgers, failing to turn back for the ball twice and dropping another target. Robert Tonyan was held in check, and while Malik Taylor and Jace Sternberger did add short touchdowns when they were wide open off of play-action, today was all about Adams. Starting anyone else in this passing game is a risk, and it’s clear that Adams is really the only receiver out there right now that Rodgers completely trusts.
Deshaun Watson: 29/39, 309 yards, 2 TDs, 3 sacks | 7 carries, 38 yards
Deshaun Watson did really well to not turn the ball over and to limit the damage to just three sacks because his offensive line looked completely overmatched today. The Texans were shut out for the first half, but Watson led them down the field to start the second half. He was avoiding free rushers and extending plays and when he threw a touchdown to David Johnson in the back of the endzone while scrambling to his left, it seemed like maybe we’d get a heroic effort from Watson to make this game competitive.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 25, 2020
Unfortunately for Watson, the offense would go back back to struggling the rest of the game and wouldn’t find the end zone again until garbage time late in the fourth quarter. It was really clear today that the Texans need a receiver who can make contested catches because Watson saw several decent throws hit the ground because the receiver was being pressured a bit by his defender. There wasn’t much Watson could do today, and I expect him to have his struggles in games against defenses that can generate pressure (which is most defenses because this offensive line looks pretty bad).
David Johnson: 14 carries, 42 yards, 1 fumble | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD
Duke Johnson: 1 carry, -1 yard | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 43 yards
It’s tough to blame David Johnson for struggling to rush for yards today since his offensive line was awful. That said, Johnson did look a little slow out there and wasn’t able to make anyone miss. He did a good job of working himself open on his touchdown, and he can still catch a few passes to make up for his inability to create much as a rusher. On one of those catches, a check-down from Watson right after the Texans had recovered an onside kick, Johnson allowed the defender to punch the ball out of his hands to force a fumble and end the game. The Texans continued to try to run the ball even after falling behind by a lot, and they refused to use Duke Johnson for most of the game, so David Johnson‘s role is secure for however much that is worth.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Will Fuller V: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD
Brandin Cooks: 9 targets, 7 receptions, 60 yards
Randall Cobb: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 95 yards
Kenny Stills: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 34 yards
Not a lot of positives for the Houston receivers today. Randall Cobb led the team in targets in a revenge game against the Packers and was tackled just short of the endzone to prevent him from having a really good day. Brandin Cooks had two catches for decent gains called back on offensive holding penalties, and Will Fuller managed to score a short touchdown late to salvage what was otherwise a rough day. None of the receivers were doing a great job of getting separation, with Fuller, in particular, struggling to get free of Jaire Alexander. Without separation, they struggled to make catches in traffic, and the result was a tough day for the Texans passing attack. Tight end Darren Fells did play today but did not receive a target.
— Dan Adams (@dadams0323 on Twitter)