HOUSTON -- Columnist Tom Oates assesses the Green Bay Packers' performance against Houston on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.

Offense • A-minus

Aaron Rodgers was sharper than he’s been all season. Jordy Nelson started overpowering cornerbacks like he did last year. Alex Green was solid in his first start. J.J. Watt got his sacks but the line held its own.

DEFENSE • B-plus

The Packers completely bottled up Arian Foster, one of the NFL’s best backs. A.J. Hawk was a beast against the run but shouldn’t have to play as much coverage as he did. Sam Shields can’t catch a break from the refs.


Randall Cobb had a 46-yard kickoff return at a critical point in the game. The coverage units were superb. Tim Masthay is very good and killing punts inside the 10. At least the blocked punt didn’t hurt.

COACHING • A-minus

Mike McCarthy was determined to stick with the running game and he never wavered. Dom Capers aggressively attacked Foster and immobile quarterback Matt Schaub early, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

OVERALL • A-minus

Instead of panicking in a game they absolutely had to win, the Packers took a very measured approach and played their best game of the season. Rodgers’ six touchdown passes took down the NFL’s best team.

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