Aaron Rodgers (left) and Jordy Nelson had plenty to smile about Sunday night. Rodgers six-touchdown-pass performance reminded folks his discount-double-check move is still around. (AP)

This was just what the Packers needed. In a must-win, backs-against-the-wall, adversity-filled game, the Packers looked like the team many predicted was a Super Bowl contender in soundly beating the Texans, 42-24, Sunday night.

Green Bay entered the game with multiple injuries and left Houston with several more, but that didn’t slow the juggernaut offense or prevent the opportunistic defense from forcing key turnovers. It was vintage 2011 Packers football and it couldn’t have been a more refreshing sight for a team coming off a miserable loss to the Colts a week before.

The Packers are still an inconsistent team that has alternated wins and losses for six weeks, but they just put together their most complete game of the season. Is it a sign of good things to come or an isolated, inspired performance? 

Offense: A

Call off the dogs, cancel the search party. We found the Packers offense. After five games of mystifyingly mediocre play from QB Aaron Rodgers, the league MVP was splendid Sunday night. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 338 yards with a career-high six touchdowns and no interceptions, for a season-high passer rating of 133.8. Reminiscent of last year, Rodgers showed touch and accuracy on several deep passes, including a 41-yard strike to WR Jordy Nelson, who caught three touchdowns and reminded everyone why Rodgers-to-Nelson was the best big-play tandem in the league in 2011. Green Bay mixed in the run well, giving 22 carries to second-year RB Alex Green, who starting in place of injured Cedric Benson ran for 65 yards that provided balance to the offense that was critical in setting up the pass. The Packers receivers still struggled with drops -- WR Randall Cobb, TE Jermichael Finley and Nelson each had one -- but more importantly, they beat coverages and got open. After being sacked 21 times the first five games, Rodgers was only taken down twice. That’s a credit to the offensive line, which more than handled the Texans’ vaunted pass rush. Previous game’s grade: B-.

Defense: A-

That was probably about as good as this Green Bay defense can play. Sure, it allowed 321 yards and 17 points (the Texans scored a fourth-quarter touchdown on a recovered blocked punt). But the nature in which Houston got those yards and points and the way Green Bay controlled the tempo was encouraging. The Texans’ scored their touchdowns on 1-yard runs and their longest pass play was 27 yards, so the Packers’ typically big-play-susceptible secondary was watertight. Against Matt Schaub, who’d only been intercepted twice and sacked three times in the previous five games, the Packers matched those numbers on Sunday. Rookie CB Casey Hayward played flawlessly and had two interceptions. Until it tired in the second half, the depleted defensive line played harder than it has all season. DE C.J. Wilson had a rare sack and DE Ryan Pickett, filling in for B.J. Raji at NT, got frequent interior penetration in the run game. The defense avoided the costly big penalties that hurt them the first five weeks.Previous game’s grade: C.

Special Teams: B

This unit has been the Packers’ best all season. At Houston on Sunday, it was again very good, but it gets docked a grade for one huge gaffe that could have been much more costly, had the game been closer. In the fourth quarter, with Green Bay leading 42-17, Tim Masthay’s punt deep in his own territory was blocked and recovered by the Texans in the end zone. Luckily, the score made no difference on the outcome, but demanding special teams coach Shawn Slocum will certainly admonish the guilty party. Other than that, the unit was terrific. Masthay’s other four punts were textbook, landing three inside the Texans’ 20-yard line and reducing Houston returner Keshawn Martin to just one return. K Mason Crosby, a week after missing both of his field goal attempts against the Colts, didn’t get a chance to kick any on Sunday, but he blasted his kickoffs out of the end zone. Cobb did his job as the return man, securing the ball and improving the Packers’ field position. He averaged 28.7 yards on three kick returns, including a darting 46-yarder, and 7.7 yards on three punt returns. Previous game’s grade: C+.

Coaching: A-

Coach Mike McCarthy called a brilliant game on offense and defensive coordinator Dom Capers adapted and adjusted aptly to the in-game injuries the Packers suffered. McCarthy blended a mix of run and pass plays, including arguably the best call he’s made all season, when Rodgers rolled right and found inconspicuous TE Tom Crabtree wide open in the seam for a 48-yard touchdown. It was an intuitively scripted and unexpected play that was perfect for the situation. Green Bay ran the ball 31 times and passed 37, which is probably the balance they’re going to need to stick with to be successful on offense. Capers saw three defensive starters leave the game with injuries, but his unit was well-prepared and played with unusual zest, registering three sacks and three interceptions. Previous game’s grade: B.

Follow Packers reporter James Carlton on Twitter: @CBSPackers and @jimmycarlton88.