Capitals

Rodgers puts Green Bay up 14-0 over Texans after 1

201210141953716189086-p2.jpeg

Rodgers puts Green Bay up 14-0 over Texans after 1

HOUSTON (AP) Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and the Green Bay Packers led the Houston Texans 14-0 after one quarter on Sunday night.

Jordy Nelson got past Johnathan Joseph for a 41-yard touchdown reception to put the Packers on top 7-0 early in the quarter. Green Bay had a fourth-and-3 on the play before the touchdown, but rookie DeVier Posey was offside, giving the Packers a first down to keep the drive going.

The second score came when Rodgers hit James Jones near the corner of the end zone on a 6-yard score with less than a minute left in the first quarter. Rodgers got that drive going when he was almost sacked by Connor Barwin, but wriggled free and found Randall Cobb on a 24-yard reception.

Rodgers ended the first quarter with 129 yards passing and Nelson had 50 yards receiving.

Houston is off to the best start in franchise history, coming into the game 5-0, joining Atlanta as the NFL's only unbeaten teams. But things didn't look good for the Texans early.

Matt Schaub, who had been sacked just three times this season entering Sunday's game, was taken down on both of Houston's first two drives as the offense sputtered and had to punt on its first three possessions.

Schaub ended the first quarter with just 31 yards passing.

Houston defensive end J.J. Watt sacked Rodgers on Green Bay's second drive, and fired up the fans by mimicking Rodgers' ``championship belt'' pose after the play. Watt came into the game with 7 1-2 sacks, just behind Green Bay's Clay Matthews, who led the league with eight through the first five games.

Texans defensive end Tim Jamison, Watt's backup, hurt his right Achilles tendon on the Packers' second scoring drive and the team said he wouldn't return. Jamison had a sack and a tipped pass in the first five games.

It is the first meeting between these teams since 2008 and Green Bay's first trip to Houston since 2004, which was also a Sunday night game that the Packers won 16-13.

Green Bay's offense came in ranked 21st (338 yards per game), and has been slowed by injuries to some of its top playmakers.

Receiver Greg Jennings missed his second straight game with a groin problem, and has said he won't play until he is 100 percent healthy so it doesn't slow him down the rest of the season. Running back Cedric Benson, who has had 71 of the team's 111 carries, is out at least eight weeks with a sprained left foot. Tight end Jermichael Finley is nursing a bum right shoulder, but played on Sunday. Tight end D.J. Williams tweaked his hamstring and didn't play Sunday.

Houston receiver Andre Johnson entered the game needing 61 yards receiving to reach 10,000 in his career. He has had four quiet games since catching eight passes in the season-opening win over Miami. He had one reception for 12 yards in the first quarter Sunday.

Quick Links

What's next for Barry Trotz?

What's next for Barry Trotz?

Barry Trotz is no longer the head coach of the Washington Capitals and, after resigning Monday afternoon, he is officially free to pursue other opportunities.

So what's next for the now former Capitals head coach?

For those who believe Trotz will simply retire, that seems unlikely. Trotz is only 55 years old.

General manager Brian MacLellan indicated the main issue in the contract negotiations between him and Trotz was term. If Trotz was, in fact, seeking a five-year contract, that doesn't sound like someone who is ready to walk away from the game.

There is only one head coaching vacancy left in the NHL, that of the New York Islanders. New President of Hockey Operations Lou Lamoriello cleaned house after getting hired and fired both general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight earlier in June.

Now, suddenly, there is a Stanley Cup-winning coach on the market.

While it certainly makes sense for the Islanders to pursue Trotz, there's one big reason why Trotz, or anyone, would likely be hesitant to accept the job on Long Island and that is John Tavares.

New York's franchise player is a pending free agent and, until his contract situation is resolved, convincing anyone to take the head coaching job with the Islanders is a tough sell. If the Islanders re-sign Tavares, improve the defense and bring in a dependable starting goalie, then there is no reason to think they cannot be a playoff team.

But those are a lot of "ifs" and Tavares is a big one. If he goes, suddenly the situation on Long Island is much different. Tavares' decision could be the difference between the Islanders being a playoff team or getting a high lottery pick.

For Trotz to walk away from a team that just won the Stanley Cup to go to a New York team that may or may not have its best player back next season does not make a lot of sense.

But just because there may be only one head coaching vacancy open doesn't mean Trotz does not have any options.

The 2017-18 season saw no head coaching changes made during the season for the first time since the league expanded in 1967. Chances are jobs will begin to open up during the season especially if those teams believe they can land a Cup-winning coach as a replacement.

If you're Trotz, you just won a Stanley Cup. There is no reason to rush into another opportunity. Trotz will instantly be near or at the top of every wish list for teams in need of a head coach.

Don't just assume that Trotz will be on Long Island to start the 2018-19 season just because it is the only opportunity currently available. He can wait for the perfect opportunity to come to him.

MORE CAPITALS COVERAGE:

Quick Links

Cavaliers are gunning for Kawhi Leonard, though it's doubtful they have enough to interest Spurs

usatsi_9975642.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Cavaliers are gunning for Kawhi Leonard, though it's doubtful they have enough to interest Spurs

With word out that Kawhi Leonard wants a trade from the Spurs, teams are lining up with offers to San Antonio and one of the NBA’s best teams has reportedly already made a call.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have contacted the Spurs about a potential Leonard trade, according to Cleveland.com. Terry Pluto wrote on Sunday that multiple teams have done the same. That is to expected, of course, as Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA. He's a two-time defensive player of the year and he's only 26.

Let's look at Cleveland as a potential destination. It should first be noted that it's questionable whether they have enough to land a player of Leonard's caliber. They have the eighth overall pick in Thursday's draft, but it may take a lot more than that to get Leonard.

They also have Kevin Love, who is an All-Star still in his prime. But if they gave him up, they would then need to seek more help to surround Leonard and LeBron James, if James decides to stay. Though James and Leonard are both top-five players in the NBA, they still likely wouldn't be able to beat the Warriors unless they had another running mate. Those two plus Love and then you're talking.

Whether the Cavs have the goods to land Leonard or not, it's no wonder why they are trying for him. Getting Leonard, a two-time All-NBA selection, would likely be enough to retain James, the best player in the game. If James were to look around the league for a top-shelf running mate, he would be hard-pressed to find one better than Leonard.

That is assuming Leonard is healthy, of course. He did miss all but nine games this past season with a quadriceps injury. That injury was central in a saga of discord between him and the team. Until he hits the court again, Leonard offers no guarantees. Still, he may be worth the risk for Cleveland, as the alternative is potentially seeing James walk. 

If the Cavs got Leonard, that would probably solidify their standing as the best team in the Eastern Conference, even if they lost Love in the process. Leonard is better than Love and they would arguably have the two best players in the East. They may not have enough to beat the Warriors, but that would likely give them the edge over the young teams like Boston and Philly that have been nipping at their heels.

Sending Leonard to the Cavs would get him out of the Western Conference and that might be enticing to the Spurs. If they send him to the Lakers, his reported preferred destination, that could come back to bite them much more often than it would if he was traded to the East. Though putting him in Cleveland would form another very good team, they wouldn't affect the Spurs directly but for two regular season games, unless they were to meet in the NBA Finals.

The Spurs haven't indicated they will actually trade Leonard, but it does seem to be heading in that direction. It sounds like Cleveland will at the very least give it a shot. 

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!