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Houston Texans not ready for prime time in loss

The Houston Texans blocked a punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's game against the Green Bay Packers. Barely any Texans fans were around to see it.

In a humbling, national television beatdown, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes in a 42-24 victory over the Texans. A loss to a hungry Green Bay squad, no matter its 2-3 record, isn't a huge surprise. The way Houston lost was eye-opening.

The Texans were sloppy, throwing more interceptions and giving up as many sacks as they had all season before Sunday night. They were overwhelmed on defense, giving up six touchdowns on the Packers' first nine drives. They weren't able to play "Texans football," with Arian Foster gaining just 29 yards on 17 carries.

This Houston squad is built on pressure defense and running. Both facets of the game fell apart against Green Bay on a night when Rodgers simply was sensational.

This doesn't prove the Texans aren't "for real." There's no need to overreact to one loss, but there's also no need to minimize what a sensational player injured linebacker Brian Cushing is. Cushing wouldn't have saved Houston in this game, but there's a reason why his teammates voted him their most valuable player last year. He was playing at an even higher level this year.

The Texans need to adjust to life without Cushing. They need to tighten up their running game. At some point, they'll have to show they can play from behind.

It's only one game, but it's not like the Texans lit the world on fire against the New York Jets on Monday night either. Every season has peaks and valleys. Houston has hit a bit of a lull.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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