It was, to put it lightly, an inauspicious beginning to the often-talked-about Tough Stretch of the Texans' 2012 schedule.
While the team was sparking Super Bowl champion talk as they beat up on the likes of the Jets, Jags and Titans, looming ahead was this stretch -- which includes Green Bay, Baltimore and Chicago.
On the biggest national stage the NFL offers -- Sunday Night Football -- the Texans laid their biggest egg of the season, looking bad early and often as they stumbled their way to a 42-24 loss.
In case you're wondering if anyone managed to look good in a 42-24 pasting, rest easy: No one did. (On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers had six TDs.)
The story was basically told by halftime, despite a few hope-inducing moments that looked like it might drag them beyond the many dumb mistakes they made throughout the game.
The Packers were scoring with seeming ease, and enjoying it by mocking such Texan TD trademarks as salutes and namaste bows.
The grumbling of fans as the first half ended -- some of whom, miraculously, are apparently still of the belief that they should expect good clock management from Gary Kubiak and the Texans -- was largely drowned out by the cheers of Cheeseheads in (loud) attendance.
The bloom was off the rose at that point.
"Maybe the Houston Texans are stepping up in class tonight," NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth said as the second half began. "They have not played an opponent of this caliber, and maybe it's showing."
Immediately led to a drive where they held the Pack to a field goal, but a
second THIRD dumb life-giving penalty gave Green Bay a huge second chance.
"I've never seen a team self-destruct like this," Collinsworth moaned. Welcome to Houston, Cris!
By this point (almost halfway through the third), the local grumbling finally overtook the Wisconsin happiness.
With Green Bay up 28-10 at this point -- about four minutes left in the third -- things looked extremely grim. But Houston responded with a TD drive that featured a long pass to Owen Daniels and the reappearance of Andre Johnson to keep hope alive.
For about four minutes, that is. Shortly after the fourth period began, Tom Crabtree was wide open for a 48-yard touchdown.
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A few gametime minutes later, a fantastic Packer catch, and it was 42-17 Green Bay and the Texans were suddenly no longer the hip pick for Super Bowl champs.
Check back mid-morning Monday to see what our Texans beat writer has to say about it all. If you can read it in between your tears.
And here's our slideshow from the Texans-Packers game.