News & Analysis

NFL Week 7 PFF ReFocused: Green Bay Packers 35, Houston Texans 20

Oct 25, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates with wide receiver Davante Adams (17) after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After last week’s drubbing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Green Bay Packers got right back on track with a 35-20 win over the Houston Texans in Week 7.

The Packers move to 5-1 on the season, and their offense has dominated in all but the Bucs game along the way. They remain near the top of the NFC playoff race. The Texans move to 1-6 on the season as their nightmare first half of the season continues. Houston has played a difficult schedule, but they’re firmly in look-to-the-future mode at this point.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story of the Game

It was a vintage performance from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his favorite target, wide receiver Davante Adams. Rodgers finished 23-for-34 for 283 yards and four touchdowns, with Adams collecting 13 receptions for 196 yards and two scores. The Rodgers-to-Adams connection came through any time the Packers needed a big play, and the Texans defense had no answer for Adams’ route running.

Since 2016, Rodgers has had four games with a PFF grade under 50.0, including last week’s game against the Bucs. However, in the subsequent four games, Rodgers now has 15 touchdowns and no interceptions, showing that he can bounce back with the best of them.

The Packers’ offensive line did a fine job in pass protection, as Rodgers was pressured on just six of his 35 dropbacks. Of course, that means the Texans’ No. 22-ranked pass rush was unable to get anything going, and that ranking will likely be even worse after this week.

On the other side of the ball, the Texans offense averaged just 0.08 EPA per play despite a solid day from QB Deshaun Watson. On 10-plus-yard throws, Watson finished 7-for-11 for 92 yards and as a score, and he hit both of his 20-plus-yard attempts for 52 yards.

Despite those chunk plays, the difference came in the red zone, where the Packers scored touchdowns on all four of their possessions while the Texans scored two touchdowns and kicked two field goals.

Houston’s comeback attempt was thwarted by a fourth-and-1 defensive stop by Packers EDGE Preston Smith, and the game was sealed for good when running back David Johnson lost a fumble after a successful onside kick.

Ultimately, the Houston defense was overmatched; they got little pressure and the secondary got worn out by the combination of Rodgers and Adams.

Rookie Watch

Packers RB A.J. Dillon was the only rookie to play on the offensive side of the ball for either team. He picked up 11 yards on his five carries, averaging 1.4 yards after contact per rush.

Defensively, fifth-round linebacker Kamal Martin made his debut and had two defensive stops in the run game and one in coverage. Fellow linebacker Krys Barnes played 27 snaps after seeing the field for 71 snaps a week ago.

For the Texans, interior defensive lineman Ross Blacklock’s struggles in the run game continued, as he’s had a rough start to his rookie season. He played 19 snaps on the afternoon.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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