The Lions couldn’t overlook the Packers minus Aaron Rodgers. They didn’t.
Detroit led start to finish, wrapping up a huge divisional 30-17 win on Monday night at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. The last time Detroit had a double-digit win at Lambeau was in 1982.
The win boosts Detroit’s record to 4-4, tying them with the Packers (4-4) for second in the NFC North. The Vikings (6-2) are alone at the top but play four of their next five on the road.
This was a game that the Lions should’ve won and they did. It was their second win in Green Bay in the last 26 years.
(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)
Of the Lions’ next eight opponents only the Vikings have a winning record. They play at Ford Field on Thanksgiving.
Five reasons the Lions won:
1. Matthew Stafford had a spectacular night. He was 26 of 33 for 361 yards, two touchdowns and a 132.2 rating. He made a few pinpoint passes including the touchdown pass to Marvin Jones (seven catches, 107 yards) in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Actually the first touchdown to Jones was a good looking pass too and it was Stafford’s 200th career touchdown pass. Golden Tate also passed the 100-yard mark in receiving with seven catches for 113 yards.
2. The run game was not great, but it was sufficient. Ameer Abdullah scored his second rushing touchdown of the season (third rushing touchdown for the Lions). He had 21 carries for 48 yards. He also fumbled twice, losing one. He was their power back, their everything back. Dwayne Washington was active but didn’t get into action until late, unlike the previous week when he was the power back in the loss to the Steelers. This run game is still an issue, they averaged just 1.9 yards per carry. Not enough. Somehow Jim Bob Cooter has to find someone, anyone who can be used in short-yardage, goal-line situations.
3. Detroit’s defense looked a bit lackluster in the Packers’ opening drive, yet Green Bay was forced to try a field goal and A’Shawn Robinson got a hand on it to block it. However, when the defense came back out on Green Bay’s next possession they were fired up and quarterback Brett Hundley was rattled. The defense stayed tough for the remainder of the game. The Packers managed just 247 total yards. Quarterback Brett Hundley threw for 245 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked three times (Tahir Whitehead, Anthony Zettel, Tavon Wilson).
4. Cornerback Darius Slay had a solid night, particularly going against Jordy Nelson while free safety Glover Quin came in like a missile on a fourth-and-2 play in the third quarter — another example of how film study pays. Slay and Quin to the Pro Bowl? It could happen with more performances like this one.
5. The Lions were 8-of-12 on third downs. Huge. Also, they were whistled for just one penalty. They never punted. It was the first game they’d gone without a punt since 1971 according to ESPN.
BONUS: Next up, the Cleveland Browns (0-8) at Ford Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday.