GREEN BAY – The Packers handled the snowy, slippery conditions at Lambeau Field on Sunday much better than the Texans did.
Because there were a handful of instances in which those conditions factored into significant moments in the game, a second “What You Might’ve Missed” is here for your consumption this week.
The Lambeau track started to get slick in the second quarter and stayed that way for pretty much the rest of the game. In chronological order, here are some of the slip-slidin’ moments that mattered.
Play No. 1: Fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 49, second quarter, 14:06 left
Result: Texans RB Alfred Blue stopped for no gain by DE Datone Jones and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
The player to watch here is Texans LT Duane Brown (76). As he tries to charge ahead at the snap to throw a block on Packers LB Joe Thomas (48), his left foot slips out from under him, and Thomas shoots into the backfield with no resistance. His presence forces Blue to take an extra step to the outside, rather than simply follow his left tackle. By then, Jones has gotten off his block from the tight end and Clinton-Dix comes in to help clean up on the big fourth-down stop.
Play No. 2: First-and-10 from the Houston 25, second quarter, 9:41 left
Result: 5-yard run by WR Ty Montgomery
This isn’t an overly significant play, but it’s probably the easiest block of C Corey Linsley’s career. Massive Texans NT Vince Wilfork (75) is right in the middle, and as he shifts slightly to his left before the snap, it appears to mess up his footing, and he falls flat on his face right when the play starts. Linsley simply puts two hands on his back to keep him down as Montgomery charges through the hole for an easy 5-yard gain.
Play No. 3: Second-and-6 from the Houston 9, second quarter, 8:10 left
Result: 9-yard TD pass to WR Randall Cobb
It’s hard to say how much the slip at the snap by Texans DE Ufomba Kamalu (97) affected the play, but considering QB Aaron Rodgers scrambled to his side moments after Kamalu’s slow start, it can’t be discounted. Once Rodgers is in the clear, he finds Cobb streaking across the end zone for the first score of the game.
Play No. 4: Second-and-10 from the Houston 32, fourth quarter, 12:50 left
Result: 32-yard TD pass to WR Jordy Nelson
How Packers LG Lane Taylor (65) keeps his balance and doesn’t go down here is remarkable, but it’s the play of the game. The bull rush from Texans DE Christian Covington (95) gets Taylor moving backward, and then the slippery turf takes over. But Taylor keeps his feet, Rodgers does some nifty footwork around the outstretched leg, and Nelson is wide open to give the Packers the lead.
Spofford: What You Might've Missed Part I: Many happy returns