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Packers vs. Lions: Quick Takes From Green Bay's 22-9 Win

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Packers vs. Lions: Quick Takes From Green Bay's 22-9 Win

The Green Bay Packers evened their record at 2-2 with an occasionally ugly but still effective win over the division-leading Detroit Lions (3-2), who have now lost 22 straight regular season games in the state of Wisconsin.

It was over when…

...Aaron Rodgers found James Jones for a 83-yard touchdown that put the Packers up 16-3 late in the third quarter. On a day when defense controlled most of the action, a Calvin Johnson-less Lions offense simply lacked the firepower on offense to make up the deficit.

Game Balls

  • Mason Crosby: If you include the 2012 postseason and this year's preseason, Crosby has now made 21 straight kicks. He made all five of his attempts today, including three from 40 or more yards out. He's in a groove. And when Crosby is in a groove, few are better.
  • T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton: The Packers guard duo won't face a more disruptive pair of interior players this season than Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. On Sunday, the two kept Detroit's rough and tough defensive tackles relatively quiet, which is really all you can ask for. Aaron Rodgers was sacked just once, and the Packers rushed for 180 yards.
  • Mike Neal: Dom Capers started Neal at outside linebacker and he responded with his best game of the season. The Lions struggled to keep an active Neal out of the backfield. He strung out a run play early, then was the main culprit for a three-yard loss by Reggie Bush. Later, he sacked Matthew Stafford on a straight bull rush. He's earning a bigger role.
  • A.J. Hawk: Quietly, Hawk has been having one of his best seasons as a pro. Sunday might have been his most impressive of 2013, as he was a big reason why Bush only recorded 69 total yards on a day when Detroit needed to feed him the football. Time to give one of the most under appreciated players in recent Packers history some long overdue love.

Key Stats

The Packers and Lions both had 10 drives and ran 64 plays. But Green Bay totaled 449 yards, including 180 rushing, and held the football for almost five minutes longer...The Packers finished 0-2 scoring touchdowns in the red zone...The Lions came into the contest as the No. 1 defense on third down. Green Bay converted on 7-of-16 opportunities...Eddie Lacy finished one yard short of giving the Packers three straight 100-yard rushers. He would have also been the third different running back to hit the milestone for Green Bay this season...The Packers averaged 5.5 yards per carry, thanks in large part to Randall Cobb's 67-yard jaunt in the second half. C0bb finished with 72 rushing yards, a career high...James Jones' 83-yard touchdown was the longest of his career, and also his first 80-yard touchdown. It was the sixth 80-yard or longer touchdown of Aaron Rodgers' career...The Packers tallied five sacks of Matthew Stafford, who came into the contest with just three sacks absorbed in the first four games (NFL low)...With Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson out, Stafford completed just nine passes to receivers...Overall, the Lions called 45 passes to just 18 runs. Detroit averaged 3.4 yards a carry over 18 attempts (one kneel down for -1 yards)...Johnathan Franklin has 16 NFL carries and two fumbles.

Other Notes

Right on cue, Nick Perry put together one of the better games of his young career. His first sack was the result of getting to the edge on left tackle Riley Reiff, an encouraging development considering he's been strictly a power player early on. He finished with his first two-sack game of his career. Maybe sitting him in favor of Mike Neal early on lit a spark under the former first-round pick.

– It was a tough day to be a Packers linebacker. Brad Jones went out in the first half with a hamstring injury, Rob Francois tore his Achilles tendon and will likely go on IR, and Clay Matthews left with a broken thumb that might require surgery. Good thing the Lions were hurting just as bad on the offensive side.

– A lot of credit due for the Packers containment of Reggie Bush, who was really the only member of the Lions offense that presented a major problem for Green Bay once Calvin Johnson was ruled out. Bush came into the contest averaging 144 total yards, but the Packers bottled him running the football, and he didn't make a major impact as a receiver. Once Bush became a non-factor, the Lions were suddenly without a go-to option on offense.

– Poor Matthew Stafford. He was throwing to the likes of Kris Durham, Patrick Edwards and Kevin Ogletree Sunday. Not exactly Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones.

– Wins are wins, especially inside the division. It wasn't always pretty Sunday, but the Packers beat a weakened opponent with a strong defensive showing and some timely second-half plays. Losing this game—especially after Detroit made Johnson inactive—would have been a disaster. Now 2-2, the Packers are just a half-game back in the NFC North.

–  The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens are up next. The Packers need to start stacking successes, while also winning on the road for the first time in 2013.

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Derek in CO's picture

Liked what I saw from Perry and Neal. If CM3 is out for some time, I hope they both want to show that they can produce without CM3 and impact the game like today. Keep it up.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Perry and Neal deserve a lot of credit here. Both have taken a lot of heat in their time in GB. Injuries have been a factor.

Hawk and Crosby too. I NEVER was on the bandwagon demanding their demise. Great to see positive efforts today.

And regarding the loss of Megatron - too bad. How often have we gone into games missing key components. This is the NFL - next man up.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I agree with all of this.
And also, I saw Mulumba in there and he stood out to me as well. He didn't make any huge plays but he looked like he fit in the plays I saw him in there.
I feel a lot better about the OLB depth this year compared to last year.

Can't replace Mathews so hopefully he won't be missing much time. But I think the depth is good enough to hold up.

James's picture

Great win. Not ugly at all. Beat a tough opponent with a good defense. Back in the division race. Good play by Perry. I would remove all the "ugly" comments from the article. Great win!

djbonney138's picture

I thought so too, this Lions team while just as ugly, has a lot more talent than Lions teams in the past. Their record isn't too shabby and our defense played very good.

The TKstinator's picture

Just win, baby.

Point Packer's picture

Jordy Nelson is some kind of unbelievable. He continues to make out of this world catches. Our offensive is not clicking right now, despite some of the good numbers. The reason our "O" and #12 are able to put up the numbers that we have been so far this season, is because both Nelson and Jones are two of the top 20 receivers in the league. They both showed it today.

That does not diminish Cobb's role, his numbers are almost expected at this point and the dude is incredible, smart and athletic.

Our offense needs to be less predictable. Creativity needs to play a role in MM's play calling down the road. Going to Baltimore and getting a "W" is critical. Not a win or bust situation, but a key game to get to 3-2.

Jamie's picture

Hawk has lost weight, and his play both vs the run and pass has improved...maybe not dramatically, but significantly.

redlights's picture

A Baltimore win would be nice, but it is non conference, so, like Cincy, I don't place too much credance on it.

I can't believe Suh didnt do a payback on EDS for untying his shoe laces last year. With no backup Center, that could have been wicked.

Think Titus Young doesn't wish he'd kept his trap shut? He could have been WR1 today.

Stroh's picture

We need to win on the road. That's why beating Balt is very important. We have played well on the road but haven't been able to win. If the Packers are going to be true SB contenders they have to win some tough road games along the way, and this is one of them IMO.

xuyee's picture

I think our red zone efficiency will increase once the refs start calling pass interference.

jh9's picture

Although it was frustrating to get into the red zone so often only to kick field goals, there were many positives to takeaway from this game:
1) Eddie Lacy finally had a chance to show himself to be the power back the Packers need. If he can stay healthy, the passing game will open up for AR.
2) Nick Perry finally made some impact plays. Keep it up, Nick!
3) Mike Neal looks like the beast we've been waiting for all these years.
4) The O-line played well today. The only sack was a coverage sack, and they're taking pride in the improved running game. That mindset bodes well for the future.
5) The D-line (plus A.J. Hawk) again shut down the opponents run game.
6) Mason Crosby!

Derek in CO's picture

In the contrary, I think defenses will continue to guard against ARod and let us run the ball. What presents the most risk to allowing points? Our passing attack, not the running game.

ANEWPACKERSJERSEY's picture

...Until McCarthy smartens up and learns how to call plays in a way that would keep the defenses guessing. I mean, wasn't that the point of drafting Lacy and Franklin?? I also think the play calling will get better/become more balanced when The Winter comes!

keith carterke's picture

I just want to see Franklin hold on to the ball. Being relagated to the bench hurts a lot.

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