Our weekly "Chips Report" always includes two blue chippers (outstanding, exceptional play), two red chippers (good, though maybe not great) and two cow chips (dud performances). From the Week 13 40-1o loss at the Detroit Lions ...
- Linebacker Clay Matthews––Matthews' signature moment came on the Lions' first possession of the game. After a long Detroit drive into the red zone, Matthews was able to help the Packers defense get a red zone stop, forcing a fumble of running back Reggie Bush, which was recovered by safety Morgan Burnett. There wasn't much success on the defensive side of the football otherwise, but Matthews deserves credit for playing with tenacity from start to finish, racking up four tackles in the process.
- Kicker Mason Crosby––The highlight of Crosby's day was his long distance bomb from 54 yards that tied the game at 3-3 in the first quarter, but his performance looked even better in comparison to Lions kickoff specialist Sam Martin, who was twice flagged for kicking the football out of bounds. Add in his extra point, that that was about as good a performance as the Packers had on an otherwise forgettable day.
- Cornerback Sam Shields––Shields was hopeless against the slants to Calvin Johnson, but he sure did a good job against the deep routes. On two separate occasions, Shields was in position to prevent Johnson from coming down with the football in the end zone. He broke up the pass on one route and came up with an interception on the other, one of four turnovers forced by the Packers defense on the afternoon.
- Wide receiver James Jones––Jones came down with an impressive reception early in the game over the middle with a defender getting his arm between the football and Jones' chest. And even though the game was out of reach, he also had a nice haul on a 56-yard reception in the fourth quarter down the right sideline. On the day, Jones finished with three catches for 76 yards.
- Cornerback Davon House––House was the victim in coverage on two touchdown passes, one against former Packers Jeremy Ross in the second quarter and another in the fourth quarterback lining up across from Kevin Ogletree. But House's struggles didn't stop on defense. He was also at fault for a missed tackle on a punt return by Ross that led to Detroit starting a drive deep in Packers territory.
- Linebacker A.J. Hawk––Not that there weren't plenty of other candidates for cow chips on Thursday, but Hawk was a big reason the Lions were able to rack up 561 yards of total offense. There were several missed tackles that led to Reggie Bush and Joique Bell each having big days on the ground. And then the Lions took advantage of Hawk lining up across from Bush on the perimeter of the field, connecting on a 32-yard reception.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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