Alright, let’s be honest. The Green Bay Packers knew that the matchup in Houston against the Texans was a game they should win.
Despite making the playoffs a season ago, Houston was 1-5 going into Sunday. They had cut ties with former head coach Bill O’Brien, struggled on defense and were inconsistent on offense.
After getting blown out, 38-10, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the week before – the Packers put in a solid work week of focused practice and then led from start to finish in a 35-20 win on Sunday.
Even though the Texans haven’t been highly successful this season, let’s not pretend that the win wasn’t impressive for Green Bay.
This is exactly the type of win you would expect from a good team after an embarrassing loss.
Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, Davante Adams had a career day and the Packers defense looked maybe the best they had all season. Jaire Alexander continued his All-Pro season and Kamal Martin looked fantastic in his career-opening game.
But what’s more impressive is the fact that the Green Bay Packers did this without so many impact players.
Kevin King, Darnell Savage, Tyler Ervin, Aaron Jones, Tyler Lancaster and David Bakhtiari were impact players who all sat out due to injuries. And then don’t forget about guys on injured reserve that were key players at the start of the year – like Allen Lazard, Lane Taylor and Josiah Deguara.
It was impressive to watch so many role players step into starting positions and play well.
Josh Jackson was solid filling in for King. There was some shuffling on the offensive line that resulted in Rick Wagner at right tackle and Billy Turner at left tackle. Despite that, the unit didn’t allow a sack. Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon were a nice 1-2 punch without Jones.
Lots of encouraging results, despite the injuries. Often times at the end of the year, the team who is healthiest in the playoffs has the best chance at the Super Bowl.
Although I wish everyone was healthy, it’s good for depth players to get game experience. Let’s hope all Packers players are entirely available and injury-free later in the season. But, if not, this game experience will be good for players who might have to fill in later down the line.
So, yes, the Packers won a game they should have won. No, the win probably isn’t going to turn heads in the national media. But inside the locker room, and to Green Bay fans, this win could mean a lot moving forward.
I’m excited to see what comes next.——————
Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.