By Terrance Turner
Aug. 14, 2021
The Houston Texans played their first game of the season at Lambeau Field tonight. They battled the Green Bay Packers tonight in Wisconsin. The Texans’ stout defense smothered the Packers offense, limiting their run game and forcing three turnovers. The Texans were last in the league last year in takeaways, so tonight was especially gratifying for the defense. But the offense was also solid, and a strong running game helped the Texans get their first win.
This game was the NFL debut of Texans backup quarterback Davis Mills (6’4″, 224 lb). Both teams were missing their starting quarterbacks; embattled Texans QB Deshaun Watson did not play, and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers also sat out. But there was plenty of action for NFL fans.
QB Tyrod Taylor started the game, going 4 for 4 and throwing for 40 yards. The drive culminated in a successful field goal. Kicker Ki’ami Fairbairn was good for a 37-yard field goal to put the Texans ahead 3-0 with 7 minutes, 44 seconds left in the first quarter. The Texans scored first.
On a later drive, Scottie Phillips barreled towards the end zone despite a sea of defenders. He scored a 5-yard touchdown. Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a successful field goal, putting the Texans ahead 10-7. A later field goal pushed their lead to 13.
Both teams were undone by miscues in the second quarter. Packers QB Jordan Love got the ball knocked out of his hands as he prepared to throw; Houston recovered. But Texans QB Davis Mills threw an interception on the very next play. That was the end of the scoring in the second quarter. The Texans led 13-7 at halftime.
Love’s night was over after the first half. He completed 12-of-17 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown in his preseason debut, according to the Green Bay Packers’ website. Kurt Benkert took over for Love in the third quarter, and he promptly completed three straight passes for 51 yards. But the drive stalled, and the Texans got the ball back.
With 13:00 left in the third quarter, Davis Mills’ night was done. Jeff Driskel took over as quarterback. Fairbairn added a 41-yard field goal to make it 16-7 with 6:07 left in the third quarter. The Packers embarked on a drive, but it got stalled near the 40-yard line. It was 16-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Early in the fourth, Kairbairn nailed yet another field goal attempt (this time from 42 yards) to put his team up 19-7. Benkert completed a 7-yard pass to third-round pick Amari Rodgers, but the Packers went three-and-out. Driskel displayed an impressive ground game, running on several plays to gain yardage. Then running back Darius Jackson ran down the sideline end zone, with Driskel running alongside him. Driskel acted as a blocker, running into two Packers defenders to clear a path. That gave Jackson enough room to score; his 25-yard touchdown made it 26-7.
Down by 19, Green Bay tried to mount a scoring drive. But Benkert was intercepted by former Packers returner Tremon Smith, who picked off Benkert at the Houston 21-yard line. That effectively sealed the Packers’ loss tonight. The Texans won, 26-7.