Lions embarrass Packers, 40-10, on Thanksgiving Day
By Tyler Dunne, Journal-Sentinel
~Detroit — So life without Aaron Rodgers didn’t do so well for the Green Bay Packers.
Maybe the offense does get the quarterback back next week. But maybe it’s too late.
Thursday’s 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions is easily one of the worst defeats in the team’s recent history. The Packers were embarrassed in every aspect of the game, all game, and looked nothing like a team pushing for the playoffs.
The team’s fourth starting quarterback this season, Matt Flynn, was overwhelmed. The defense’s midseason meltdown hit a new low against Detroit’s array of weapons. And now the Lions, not the Packers, took control of the NFC North.
Rodgers is closer to returning from his broken collarbone. But going 0-4-1 in his absence, the Packers are on the outside looking in.
Flynn finished 10 of 20 for 139 yards. The Packers’ longest run went for four yards. Overall, the Lions out-gained Green Bay, 561-126.
Thus, the 40-10 final score was actually kind. This one could’ve gotten uglier if not for a trio of early turnovers.
And by the game’s end, Detroit was playing its back-up quarterback. To take a knee.
Player of the Game: Pick your player on Detroit’s offense. Matthew Stafford. Reggie Bush. Calvin Johnson. And many, many others all embarrassed the Packers today. We’ll go with the player at the controls here. Matthew Stafford’s turnovers may ultimately spell Detroit’s demise in the playoffs. But he shook off early mistakes Thursday — and scattered boo’s at Ford Field — to pass for 330 yards and three touchdowns. The Lions have a quarterback capable of taking them the distance…if he takes care of the ball. At his best, Stafford is tough to beat.
Turning point: This one got away from Green Bay in a hurry, but Ndamukong Suh’s safety in the third quarter all but sealed the deal. Suh blew past Marshall Newhouse to take down Flynn and give the Lions a 26-10 lead. The Lions were able to get the ball back, score again, and run away with the win.
Big Number: 7 — Sacks for the Lions defense. The front four dominated. Josh Sitton didn’t get the last word in Detroit.
What went right: Not much. Green Bay’s defense did force turnovers, and those have been hard to come by this season. Even as it was steamrolled up and down the field, the Packers used forced fumbles by Clay Matthews and Nick Perry to keep it close. Perry’s sack/strip of Stafford led to a Morgan Burnett 1-yard fumble recovery for a score. Sam Shields also came down with a jump-ball interception in the end zone while covering Calvin Johnson.
On offense, this was Green Bay’s worst performance in, likely, years.
What went wrong: Where do you start? The defense was gashed by air, by ground all Thanksgiving Day long. Calvin Johnson was only one problem for the Packers. This Lions offense is deep, with weapons from Johnson on down to ex-Packer Jeremy Ross. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell picked up where Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart left off a week ago, ripping off 211 yards on 39 attempts. Bush’s speed and Bell’s power complemented each other perfectly and had Green Bay’s grasping for air.
When Matthew Stafford wasn’t turning the ball over, he was picking apart the defense.
Stafford found Ross for a touchdown early over the middle and then connected with Johnson for a 20-yard score that gave the Lions a 24-10 edge. On the second score, the Packers blitzed and it appeared M.D. Jennings slipped on Johnson over the middle.
As coaches warned, they couldn’t spend all of their attention on Johnson because of Bush. He’s a rare weapon that Green Bay couldn’t control. On one third and 4, Detroit flexed Bush wide right and drew A.J. Hawk in 1-on-1 coverage. Bush beat the linebacker deep for 32 yards.
Offensively, the Packers’ offensive line caved. And bad turned to worse when Evan Dietrich-Smith left the game with a knee injury. On the ground, Eddie Lacy mustered just 16 yards on 10 carries.
Original story here