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Packers top Texans, 21-13

Green Bay gets back to .500 at 6-6


GREEN BAY – The Packers' offense woke up in the fourth quarter, finishing a 98-yard drive for a TD and following it with an 89-yard TD march to put away the Texans, 21-13, on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

With the win, the Packers got back to the .500 mark at 6-6 and appeared they would remain two games behind Detroit for first place in the NFC North with the Lions leading by multiple scores in the fourth quarter at New Orleans.

QB Aaron Rodgers, playing on a bad hamstring, was 20-of-30 for 209 yards with two TDs for a 108.9 passer rating. WR Jordy Nelson had a big day, catching eight passes for 118 yards and a score. WR Ty Montgomery added six rushes for 40 yards.

For the Texans, QB Brock Osweiler was 21-of-34 for 213 yards and two TDs for a 99.3 rating. The Packers held RB Lamar Miller to just 22 yards on 14 carries, with Jonathan Grimes (5-43) and Alfred Blue (5-38) doing more damage on the ground.

Here's a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action.

Fourth quarter:

The Packers started the fourth with a 17-yard pass to WR Davante Adams to get across midfield. It was nearly a huge gain, as Adams tip-toed on the sideline and dodged tacklers for a bunch of extra yards, but he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds on the Houston 47.

After Rodgers scrambled for 11 yards, and appeared to come up limping a little bit on his hamstring, he found a wide-open Jordy Nelson for a 32-yard TD. A coverage bust by the Texans left Nelson all alone standing in the end zone, waiting for Rodgers' throw. The 12-play, 98-yard drive consumed 5:20. It was the Packers' longest drive of the season.

K Mason Crosby's extra point put the Packers ahead, 14-7, with 12:42 left.

The TD catch was Nelson's 10th of the season, making him the third Packers receiver to have at least three seasons of double-digit TD receptions, joining Sterling Sharpe and Don Hutson. Nelson also moved past Boyd Dowler for fifth on the franchise's all-time receiving yards list.

The Texans tried to answer with runs of 10 and 25 yards by RB Alfred Blue, but as Osweiler tried to avoid a sack, his dumpoff pass to Blue lost 9 yards, and the ensuing third-down pass for TE C.J. Fiedorowicz was well-covered by DB Micah Hyde. Houston punted and the Packers took over on their own 11 with 8:52 left.

The Packers got going again on a 21-yard completion to Nelson and an 11-yard run by WR Ty Montgomery. Rodgers then hit Nelson over the top for 28 yards on third-and-6, and WR Jeff Janis took a reverse handoff 19 yards to make it first-and-goal on the 3. FB Aaron Ripkowski finished it from there, and the Packers led 21-7 with 4:11 to go.

The Texans got back in it with a 78-yard TD drive featuring receptions of 15 yards by RB Jonathan Grimes and 18 yards to WR Ryan Griffin. WR DeAndre Hopkins hauled in a 44-yard TD pass with 1:51 left, but K Nick Novak was wide right on the extra point, so the Packers led, 21-13.

Adams recovered the ensuing onside kick for the Packers, who ran the clock down to 12 seconds before punting.

Third quarter:

The Packers and Texans entered the fourth quarter all tied at 7 on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

The Packers' offense began the second half with a three-and-out. Texans LB Whitney Mercilus sacked QB Aaron Rodgers on second down, leading to the punt.

The Texans got going on a 24-yard pass to WR Will Fuller on third-and-9, and TE C.J. Fiedorowicz followed with an 8-yard reception. An 11-yard pass to WR DeAndre Hopkins made it first down on the Green Bay 15. A 4-yard run by RB Lamar Miller and a 5-yarder by RB Jonathan Grimes set up fourth-and-1 on the 6, and QB Brock Osweiler rolled out and hit WR Ryan Griffin for the TD.

K Nick Novak's extra point tied the game at 7 with 7:32 left in the third.

The Packers got a 39-yard kickoff return from WR Ty Montgomery but soon faced fourth-and-2 from the Houston 48. Green Bay went for it, but FB Aaron Ripkowski was stopped short of the marker, and the Texans took over.

Houston converted on third-and-12 with a 14-yard run on a Grimes draw, but the drive stalled there and the Texans' punt pinned the Packers on their own 2-yard line.

Green Bay got out of the hole with a 9-yard pass to TE Richard Rodgers and a 13-yard run by WR Ty Montgomery. A 10-yard pass to TE Jared Cook moved the chains again as the quarter expired. The two third-down conversions were more than the Packers had all game before the drive began.

Second quarter:

GREEN BAY – The Packers took a 7-0 lead into halftime over the Texans on a snowy Sunday at Lambeau Field.

The second quarter began with another big defensive stop. The Texans had fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 49 and went for it, but RB Alfred Blue was stopped for no gain by DE Datone Jones, and the Packers took over in good field position.

Green Bay took advantage this time, driving 50 yards in 10 plays for the game's first score. The Packers went for it on their own fourth down, fourth-and-2 from the Houston 42, and RB Christine Michael picked it up with a 5-yard run.

From there, consecutive 6-yard passes to WRs Jordy Nelson and Ty Montgomery were followed by a 5-yard Montgomery run and a 7-yard Nelson catch. WR Randall Cobb finished the drive with a 9-yard TD catch, as QB Aaron Rodgers scrambled to his right and found Cobb cutting across the snowy end zone.

K Mason Crosby's extra point put the Packers up, 7-0, with 8:02 left in the half.

The Green Bay defense responded nicely. Rookie DE Dean Lowry recorded his first career sack on second down, leading to a Houston punt, which Cobb returned 23 yards after breaking multiple tackles to set the offense up at the Green Bay 40.

The Packers went three-and-out, though, and P Jake Schum pinned Houston on its own 11. Three straight incomplete passes – two of them being dropped by Houston receivers clearly struggling with the wet conditions – led to another punt. Texans WR Braxton Miller was down on the field for an extended period after his third-down drop, holding his arm after getting taken down hard by S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Miller left the field and was taken straight to the locker room.

Rodgers hit Nelson for 8 yards and FB Aaron Ripkowski ran straight ahead for 10 to start Green Bay's next drive, but that was all. The Packers punted the Texans back to their own 11 again, with 1:37 left in the half.

The Texans got moving with three straight completions to TE C.J. Fiedorowicz that gained 30 yards total, but LB Julius Peppers sacked Osweiler for a 10-yard loss to stall the drive. That gave Peppers 142 ½ career sacks, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list, ahead of Michael Strahan.

First quarter:

The Packers wasted a huge scoring chance early, and the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie against the Texans on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

The Packers' defense got the game started with a turnover. Houston faced third-and-9 from midfield, and QB Brock Osweiler's pass was caught by WR Ryan Griffin, but CBs Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter hit Griffin simultaneously and knocked the ball out. S Morgan Burnett recovered and returned it 35 yards to the Houston 24.

The offense didn't take advantage, though. After a 10-yard pass to TE Jared Cook and a 7-yard pass to WR Jordy Nelson, the Packers had third-and-1 on the Houston 2. QB Aaron Rodgers fumbled the snap, and Texans LB Whitney Mercilus recovered at the 5.

Texans RB Lamar Miller left the game with a rib injury, while Packers LB Nick Perry exited with a hand injury.

The defense got the ball back quickly. After getting called for his second offside penalty of the quarter, DT Letroy Guion stopped RB Alfred Blue for a 3-yard loss. Two plays later, a blitz by Burnett forced a hurried, low throw that led to a punt. WR Randall Cobb returned the punt 21 yards to the Green Bay 47.

The Packers went three-and-out, though, despite a 9-yard pass to Nelson on first down. RB James Starks was stopped for no gain on second down and then lost 3 yards on third down, and the Packers punted.

Miller returned to the game for the Texans on their next series, which saw Houston convert on back-to-back third-and-7s, first with an 8-yard draw to RB Jonathan Grimes and then with an 8-yard scramble by Osweiler.

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