Green Bay Packers v. Lions: Behind the Numbers

Here is a look at the numbers and stats that helped define the Green Bay Packers bounce back win over the Detroit Lions.

It was only the second game of a 17 game season, but this sure felt like a must-win game for the Green Bay Packers--and after a slow start, that is eventually what happened.
 
Green Bay would go on to win 35 to 17 after a dominant second half. So as has now become tradition following a Packers' game, let's go Behind the Numbers to see which stats and figures helped define this game. 

3rd & 12

It was this down that felt like the turning point in the game for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers had just taken a sack on their opening drive of the third quarter, leaving Green Bay with a 3rd and 12 from their own 24 yards line.
 
With the Lions already up 17-14 and the Green Bay defense struggling to slow thier offense at this point, things could have gotten ugly fairly quickly had Detroit gotten the ball back and scored to make it a two-score game. 
 
But instead, on a beautifully designed play by Matt LaFleur -- one of several -- and a beautiful pass and catch from Rodgers to Davante Adams, the duo connected on a 50-yard pass that would lead to a touchdown a few plays later.

3

After only eight snaps against New Orleans, Eric Stokes saw much more playing time on Monday, with the Packers even moving Kevin King to the slot -- a position he has rarely played -- in an effort to get Stokes on the field.
 
While as a rookie, there are going to be some growing pains, Stokes came away with three pass breakups against the Lions, including two on fourth downs. He was all over his receiver on each of those plays, and he may have earned the CB2 role with that performance.

13

Look, De'Vondre Campbell is likely never going to take a game over, but contrary to some things that I've seen, I thought he's held up well these first two games and has provided the Packers with an upgrade at the position. 
 
On Monday, he would log 13 tackles, and while tackles can be a hollow stat, I thought that Campbell was flying around the field, making several plays along the sidelines and at the line of scrimmage. He also came away with an interception. 
 
Ultimately, the play of Campbell and Barnes is going to be defined by your expectations. Yes, he gave up a touchdown pass in coverage to TJ Hockenson, but for starters, it was decent coverage that was beaten by a terrific pass and catch. Also, it was against Hockenson--if your expectations are that he should win that red zone battle consistently, you're going to be disappointed. 
 
Campbell has been a solid presence at linebacker so far.

4/4

This is a Green Bay Packers offense that was the best in the NFL in 2020 in red zone efficiency and put on a historic performance, scoring a touchdown 80 percent of the time. 
 
We again saw that dominance against the Lions as Green Bay scored on all four of their red-zone trips. Even with the defensive issues, if the Packers are that efficient, they're going to be quite difficult to beat.

1

That is the number of sacks that the Packers could muster against the Detroit Lions. While I admit that the second half was better once the Lions became one-dimensional and Joe Barry decided to send some blitzes, the pass rush's inability to get after the quarterback was quite concerning once again. 

23

As he should have been against this Lions team, Aaron Jones was a focal point of the offense, carrying the ball 17 times, hauling in six receptions, and finding the end zone four times.
 
There shouldn't have been any doubt, but if there was, we saw on Monday that this offense is better when Jones is involved heavily. We know what Jones can do with the ball in his hands, but just the mere threat of him running the ball opens things up in the passing game--not to mention that he can make plays there as well.
 
There is really no good reason that he shouldn't see 18 to 20 touches -- at a minimum -- every single game.

3.9

It didn't feel like it during the game, but this is what the Green Bay Packers running backs average per carry was against the Lions. The lesson here is that the running game doesn't have to rip off huge runs in order for the defense to respect it. The threat of it and the defense believing that Green Bay could run the ball any play is enough to open things up for the passing game.

9

The Detroit Lions had nine penalties for 78 yards, and several of them killed any offensive momentum that they had established, which early on was more than what the Packers defense could say. 

18

Not including Detroit's final drive of the game that ended with a turnover on downs, the Lions had run just 18 total plays in the second half.
 
While it was a rough start for this Green Bay defense, to their credit, and with the help of the offense and Goff, they held the Lions to zero second-half points. 
 
The Lions' first four drives of the half would end with a turnover on downs, a fumble, a punt, and an interception--all in 18 plays.

0

Lucas Patrick, the Packers starting left guard in Week 1, spent most of the last week in concussion protocol. While Patrick would suit up on Monday, he did not play and instead it was Jon Runyan who got the start. According to PFF, Runyan didn't allow a single pressure and was the fourth highest graded offensive player on the team. With that performance, the starting left guard job may now belong to Runyan.

145.6

I'm not sure that many doubted that Aaron Rodgers would bounce back, but he certainly did, completing 22 of his 27 passes for 255 yards with four touchdowns, and a passer rating of 145.6. 
 
We also saw Davante Adams doing Davante Adams-type things, catching eight of his nine targets for 121 yards.

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

8 points

Comments (13)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
albert999's picture

September 21, 2021 at 12:53 pm

Cobb was open all night over the middle. Rodgers should have went to him more and hopefully does in San Francisco

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Leatherhead's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:13 pm

Well, we did score 35 points…..

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

September 21, 2021 at 06:29 pm

He missed that on his trips to the refrigerator. 😁

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ricky's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:07 pm

Stokes did indeed look like an improvement over King. But, the Lions receivers are mostly second rate. On the other hand, he did well after his initial mistake on the TD. Campbell did have a lot of tackles, but as you hinted, where those tackles take place is also important. If they're more than one or two yards up the field, that speaks to a problem with the defense. The defense overall looked bad in the first half, and got lucky in the second half. The two fumbles, neither of them forced by the defense, were crucial. And the interception was just a terrible decision by Goff. And as noted, there was very little pressure on Goff in the first half of the game. Is this the fault of the players or the schemes being put forth? Why can other teams get pressure with four linemen, while the Packers need to blitz just to make the QB feel a bit uncomfortable? A final thought. The Packers are going to have to make a decision on what to do with Jace Sternberger, as he will be coming off his two game suspension. I think he's waived, after the Packers try to trade him. Just read he's been waived.

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PeteK's picture

September 21, 2021 at 02:17 pm

He looked very promising after his performance vs the Niners, but it was down hill after that. Draft is a crap shoot. Luckily, TE is very secure.

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Packers1985's picture

September 21, 2021 at 11:43 pm

Agreed TE is very secure for this year but after this season big bob might command more to sign with the packers and Big dog might retire so we'll be left with a two hbacks.

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dobber's picture

September 21, 2021 at 06:58 pm

"Stokes did indeed look like an improvement over King. But, the Lions receivers are mostly second rate."

Being able to cover second-rate WR is a good start.

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murf7777's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:10 pm

With San Francisco coming up next this was a must win game! Your not likely to get to the playoffs starting 0-2 much less 0-3 if they were to lose this Sunday.

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albert999's picture

September 21, 2021 at 01:15 pm

Defense will need miracles to beat San Francisco and offense will need to score 40

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LayingTheLawe's picture

September 21, 2021 at 02:07 pm

The defense gave up 62 yards rushing to the running backs. They do appear to have a QB running problem and even Goff got almost 50 yards running.

After the big play over King, of course, early the Packers only seemed to give up the short passes.

Until the last drive in garbage time the D only gave up 85 yards with a 4th down stop and 2 turnovers in the second half.

Hopefully that's progress.

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Spock's picture

September 21, 2021 at 02:41 pm

I'm not exactly a math major, but if the GB RB's are "averaging" 3. 9 yards per carry that means 3 carries equals 11.7 yards. Since you only need 10 yards in 3 tries to get a first down why the heck WOULDN'T you run the ball until the defense proves they can stop it? Obviously, I'm being a bit facetious here but the run would certainly open up the pass (kind of football 101 that even I understand, lol). I loved the fantastic passes that QB12 completed, but he was also off a bit in his attempts for MVS. I would love to see more of that "illusion of complexity" out there: i.e.: movement pre-snap, more fake/real handoffs with Amari or Cobb. Maybe MLF is a little reluctant to do that with all the rookies on the OL, but I hope we see more next week. Not complaining about a decisive win, but this was an opponent we SHOULD have beaten with the talent differential between the two teams. Excited to see next weeks game. GPG!

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fordguy's picture

September 21, 2021 at 04:15 pm

And George Seifert always said you pass to set up the run.

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BAMABADGER's picture

September 21, 2021 at 05:33 pm

Behind the Numbers:

2 - total solo tackles by Rashan Gary last night, his first 2 tackles through 2 games.
0 - number of sacks by Rashan Gary through 2 games
12 - the first round draft number of Rashan Gary in 2019

Pitiful numbers that can not be defended.

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