Packers beat Texans 28-26 in preseason opener

GREEN BAY — Matt LaFleur got a win his Lambeau Field debut as the Green Bay Packers picked up a 28-26 win over the Houston Texans in the preseason opener Thursday night.

The good:


Forcing turnovers — The Packers struggled to take the ball away from their opponents a year ago. That wasn’t the case Thursday, as they forced four turnovers, including two interceptions. Second-year wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown recovered a fumbled punt in the end zone for the first touchdown of the night.

The not so good:

Running game — Matt LaFleur has said he wants to run the ball, and he did commit to that with 29 attempts on the night. But it was far from an impressive night on the ground. The Packers averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. Rookie Dexter Williams flashed a little bit of his quick first step and finished with 62 yards, but it was really a hit-or-miss night in the run game.

Mixed bag

J’Mon Moore — The second-year wide receiver has struggled to catch the ball since he arrived in Green Bay last summer and that continued Thursday night. He bobbled and then caught the first ball thrown his way before dropping the second. The Missouri product then had a touchdown catch right in his hands but couldn’t hold on. Thanks to a penalty, he got a second chance and hauled in a Tim Boyle pass for a score.

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In Case You Missed It

— The lone starting offensive lineman to play was Lane Taylor. There was a reason for that, as LaFleur said he’s in a competition with rookie Elgton Jenkins for the starting job.

— LB Oren Burks left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return. LaFleur said he was being evaluated and didn’t have an update.

— For the first time, teams can challenge pass interference calls. The Packers did just that in the third quarter when it appeared wide receiver Allen Lazard was interfered with in the end zone but no flag was thrown. The Packers challenged but the no call was upheld.

— Former Badgers star J.J. Watt didn’t play for the Texans Thursday night, but he did warmup. It allowed him to do his normal throwing of the football with fans in the stands. He even brought his parents on the field and played catch with them.

Inside the Numbers

5 — That’s how many defensive players the Packers picked in the 2019 NFL Draft. All five — Rashan Gary, Darnell Savage, Kingsley Keke, Ka’dar Hollman and Ty Summers — started the game on defense for Green Bay.

26 — That’s how many Packers did not suit up, including 16 starters.

111.7 — That was DeShone Kizer’s quarterback rating. The third-year signal caller got the entire first half, leading the Packers on one scoring drive by finding wide receiver Darrius Shepherd for a 14-yard touchdown.

125.0 — That was Tim Boyle’s quarterback rating. He played just two series and threw touchdowns on both of them, including a pretty 27-yard strike to Lazard.

What’s Next

The Packers (1-0) will go to Baltimore next Thursday to face Baltimore (1-0) in the second preseason game for each team.