HOUSTON – Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers finally put it all together.
The reigning MVP set a career high and tied a franchise record with six touchdown passes and the Packers played their best game of their so far inconsistent season, beating previously unbeaten Houston 42-24 on Sunday night.
Jordy Nelson caught three touchdown passes and James Jones had two, including a beautiful, diving one-hander in the fourth quarter for the Packers (3-3). Tom Crabtree had the other, a 48-yarder that Rodgers threw just before taking a hit from Texans’ outside linebacker Brooks Reed.
Rodgers completed 24 of 37 passes for 338 yards. He tied Matt Flynn’s game record for TD passes, set in last year’s regular-season finale against Detroit with Rodgers resting on the sideline in advance of the playoffs.
Arian Foster scored two touchdowns, but ran for only 29 yards for the Texans (5-1).
The loss leaves the Atlanta Falcons (6-0) as the only unbeaten team in the NFL.
Houston had the league’s third-ranked defense and badly missed star linebacker Brian Cushing, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing a knee ligament in last week’s 23-17 win over the New York Jets.
Still, the Texans had no reason not to feel confident.
Houston is off to its best start in franchise history, while Rodgers and the Packers had been strangely erratic. But the Texans looked like the team out of sorts from the start on Sunday night.
Matt Schaub threw two interceptions and finished 20-for-33 for 232 yards; T.J. Yates replaced him late in the game. Andre Johnson caught eight passes for 75 yards.
The Packers defense sacked Schaub three times; he was only sacked three times in the Texans’ first five games.
Green Bay led 28-17 after Foster’s second TD run with 17 seconds left in the third quarter, but Rodgers threw his final two TD passes within 2˝ minutes of each other early in the fourth quarter – the second following a Sam Shields interception – to put the game away.
Houston’s Bryan Braman blocked a Packers punt, which DeVier Posey recovered in the end zone for the game’s final score.