Packers vs Lions: Gameday First Impressions Unfiltered

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jermichael Finley
Packers TE Jermichael Finley came up big with two clutch catches in the Packers’ 24-20 win over the Lions.

Pregame notes

Big test for the Packers on the offensive line as Evan Dietrich-Smith gets the start at left guard with Bryan Bulaga on IR.  T.J. Lang moves from left guard to right tackle.

Will we see Suh Stomp II: Electric Bugaloo today?

Packers inactives:

WR Jarrett Boykin, S Charles Woodson, CB Sam Shields, LB Clay Matthews , LB Terrell Manning , TE Andrew Quarless, WR Greg Jennings

Lions inactives:

S Louis Delmas, DT Corey Williams, DE Ronnell Lewis, WR Brian Robiskie, T Jason Fox, T Corey Hilliard, QB Kellen Moore.

Mike McCarthy on WTMJ pregame:

On benefits of the bye: Bye weeks always beneficial. Team is healthier and has more energy, had extra day of practice.

On Offensive Line injuries: TJ Lang from LG to RT, EDS playing LG.

On cross training: Ability to know multiple positions benefits team, confident in lineup.  Battle against Lions D line key to win.

On Missing Matthews: utilizing personnel, get some production out of Dezman Moses.  Using any and all healthy linebackers.

On First down defense:  Playing with favorable sticks helps control the game.

On playing well in domes under Rodgers: Credit to the players and personnel acquisition.

On Stafford: Can make all the throws, big numbers for a reason.  Going to stretch them schematically.

On Tramon vs. Megatron matchup:  Both special athletes, won’t resemble last December’s game.

Packers vs Lions—First Half Impressions

Lions get the ball first.  Ron Winter the official today.

Two drops by Pettigrew and the Packers get the ball after a three and out.

Starks gets the first carry and makes a good effort to get the first down.  He needs to do that more.

Dietrich Smith with a penalty on first drive.  Settle down.

Masthay with a perfect punt and it was perfectly played by Jarrett Bush.  Pins the Lions at their own 2.

Lions go three and out as their first quarter struggles continue.

Where has this James Starks been? Decisive, making cuts and plowing ahead.

Holding penalties killing Green Bay. One on Sitton and one on Dietrich-Smith (his second penalty of the game).

Packers go for it on fourth and 4 and Rodgers overthrows Cobb.  Confidence in Crosby’s leg could be shaken.

Mistakes plaguing Lions too.  Megatron with a Finley-esque drop that would have been a big gain.

Packers send the patented three man rush and Stafford makes them pay.  53 yard pass to Johnson.

Stafford rolls out and Morgan Burnett hunts him down. Great play by the safety

Jason Hanson puts the Lions up 3-0.  A small victory after the big throw to Johnson.

Rodgers. Oh my. Scrambles out of a sack (he was literally wrapped up) and tosses it to Donald Driver for a first down

First quarter over. 3-0, Lions.

Packers finally try for the first down instead of the home run and it pays off.

Rodgers to….Jermichael Finley? Finley hangs onto the ball and makes a nice run into the end zone. TOUCHDOWN GREEN BAY. 7-3 Packers.

First touchdown for Finley since Week 1.

Lions get the ball back. Casey Hayward just whiffs on the sack and Stafford converts a first down.

Johnson burns Tramon Williams for a 21 yard game.  McCarthy chooses not to challenge the catch after a slight bobble by Megatron

Williams get burned AGAIN as Johnson gets the Lions in the redzone. Johnson has three catches for 88 yards so far.

Lions pound Lashoure into the endzone.  Non-challenge by McCarthy may have hurt the Packers. 10-7 DET.

McCarthy staying with Starks who is running the ball hard.

Sloppy play so far by Packers offensive line. Another hold.  Dietrich-Smith gets blown up on third down and the Packers punt.

Lions get the ball back and the Packers have a stupid pre-snap penalty to give the Lions a first down.  Lashoure quickly gets another first down on the following play.

Late hit on Matthew Stafford by Brad Jones gives the Lions another first down.  Jones stumbled over Stafford, called anyway. Bad call.

Casey Hayward does it again! Big interception. Rookie having one heck of a debut season.

Then Rodgers gives it right back to Detroit.  Horrible throw.  You don’t see many of those by Rodgers.

Dezman Moses with a brilliant strip of Stafford. Packers right back where they were when Rodgers threw the interception.

Packers get a first down with Cobb, but then a sack of Rodgers.  McCarthy lets clock run and sets up a 50 yard field goal by Crosby.  Horrible clock management.

Crosby misses the first attempt wide right as Schwartz ices him.  He then goes wide LEFT on the real try.

Halftime. Detroit 10, Green Bay 7.

Packers vs Lions—Second Half Impressions

Packers get the ball to start the second half.

Same ole for the Packers on the first drive.  Rodgers sacked, then pressured on next play and coughs up the ball.  Heads up play by Jeff Saturday to get the ball back. Packers punt.

Just sloppy play all over for the Packers.  Injuries taking their toll or something else?

MD JENNINGS! 73 yard pick six on Stafford.  Packers lead 14-10.  Hopefully that’s the spark that turns the tide in the Packers’ favor.

Lions get the ball back.  Packers defense seems exhausted.  Offense on field only once so far in the first half.  Field goal here would be a small victory for the Packers.

Holding penalty backs Lions up, but a tipped ball by Morgan Burnett is snagged by Johnson for a touchdown. Wow. 17-14 Lions.

Why Randall Cobb? You are not Donovan McNabb. You can take a knee there. Thankfully not a fumble.

Cobb redeems himself with a big gain on third down.

Beautiful throw by Rodgers to James Jones there.  Where has that been all day?

Third quarter over.  Packers need a good drive here. 17-14 Lions.

Packers go three and out and Mason Crosby comes on for a 58 yard attempt? Bonkers McCarthy.

Packers line up and Crabtree goes in motion, drawing five yard flag.  Not sure what that was about.

Masthay places Lions at their own 7 yard line.

Pass rush finally gets home and Stafford is down for a loss.

Two plays in a row! Dare I say a consistent pass rush?

Short punt gives the Packers the ball at the Lions 44.

Big penalty on Detroit there.  Packers moving the ball, first down at Lions 28.

I hate those play calls. 2 yard gain, 1 yard gain. Time to ditch that part of the playbook.

Packers can’t convert. Crosby misses from 38.  Think this might be it for him.

Now the Lions start driving down the field.  Dagger in the heart of the Packers may be at hand.

Big 3rd and goal coming up.  Touchdown—game over, field goal—Still in it.

Incomplete. Field goal unit on.  Packers still have a shot, but with a sputtering offense does anyone really think they can pull it off?

Kick is good. 20-14 Lions with 4:25 remaining.

James Starks running hard.  Dude came to play.

JERMICHAEL FINLEY with a clutch catch? I give up.  I yield to the Mayans.

RANDALL COBB!!!! How did he…..? What? Huh….? WOW! Touchdown.

Packers lead 21-20, defense is up. Hopefully not a situation where they scored too quickly.

3rd and 15.  Great breakup by Hayward, despite the three man pass rush.

HAIL MARY BROKEN UP! McMillian with a great play.

Lions still have two time outs so we could see Crosby for a field goal.

Crosby MAKES ONE and the score is 24-20 with :19 left

One last shot for the Lions.

Davon House dropped an INT. :09 left.

Incomplete. :03 left.

Stranger things have happened to these Packers.  Play till the zeroes.

Johnson catches it, and promptly laterals it to Jerron McMillian. Game over.

Next up: a trip to New York against the Giants.

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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  • Tarynfor12

    A TD catch and big clutch catch and run by Finley….there must be a lot of wagon dusting going on.

    • Mike

      He probably should’ve had 2 TDs – he was WIDE open on the Fairley sack before the Crosby miss at the end of the 1st half. He probably could have had 5-6 catches but Rodgers bypassed him two or three times when he was open.

      Great game by the defense though! Who said they can’t get a pass rush without Clay? Still hoping he’s back next week though!

  • Wagszilla

    Good call on it being a close game.

    Offense looked like Jarrett Bush in coverage.
    Too many run calls, no faith in O-Line.

    Get well soon Greg.

    • BTF

      Rare to see someone complaining about too many run calls ;)

      • Wagszilla

        Running against anyone else maybe but the Lions secondary is in shambles why didn’t they press them more?

        Silly rabbits.

    • http://allgbp.com/category/authors/jason-perone/ Jason Perone

      I called 24-21, it ended up being 24-20. Always good to get a win but knew it wouldn’t be any sort of light show.

  • Turophile

    I’m exhausted !!

  • Art

    Yes the Pack won BUT…..Detroit had more first downs, more total yards, more plays. Sounds bad HOWEVER, Detroit had three fumbles, got sacked five times, we picked them twice, gave up only 266 yards passing (though that was more than AR passed), you would think that we would have put up more points than Minny did against the Lions last week. This game should have been an easy win for the Pack. We were 1st and 5 on Detroit’s 27 for 7 minutes to go in the 4th. Run once for no gain, but then pass the ball for the first. Get the first down damn it! Sorry, but this is not the same Packers offense as 2010.

    • BTF

      I’d say it’s pretty much the same offense as 2010. Potential for overdrive but plenty of stalling as well including scoring 3 points against the Lions..

      • Art

        BTF, the reason for my comment about the offense not being the same as 2010 was because of the amount of points the Packers put up in 2010, not just for the game but early in the game. This made the other team play catch up all game, being forced to go to the air and abandon any sort of their running game giving our defense the opportunities to pick off passes. This is just not the case this year.

  • Dan

    Great win, D played inspired football, Starks played hard and gained additional yardage that Green would have been stopped in his tracks, refs sucked ( some very ticky-tac holding calls) Finley? Sit Crosby and sign any street FA kicker because Masons shrink didn’t help him during the bye

    • Mojo

      I was getting so pissed-off about the phantom holding calls I had to turn off the game. Fortunately, I calmed down enough and rejoined the action. NFL refing is so arbitrary, it’s hard for me to watch anymore. I know they won’t admit it, but I do think the refs get influenced by loud home crowds. Don’t get me going on the Jones personal foul on Stafford.

      • Dan

        I had the same reaction after the 3rd non-holding that was called, I had to walk away for awhile

  • BTF

    Great win. Not pretty but great.

    D played tough and didn’t let some big gains faze them and of course came up with big TO’s. Delighted for MD Jennings and loving the potential of our young D-backs. Given that our LB’s had 3 backups in they played well and we got some push from the d-line.

    Great play from Finley on that 40 yard catch and run. Lets hope that wakes him from his slumber..

    Plenty wrong as well of course but time enough to think of that after enjoying beating a division rival on the road missing 9 starters. A beer or 2 calls..

  • Brian

    Today was a win for the deffense. Even without Clay they still got it done. Hayword would go in the first round if the draft was done over.

    Field goal kicking is starting to become a serious problem. The Packers need to find a solution to the problem.

    • Michael

      Why can fans not spell Huhwords name?

  • Kevin

    It appears that Alex Green’s ballcarrying days are over, at least for this season. Good to see Starks have some success

    • Oppy

      Starks fought hard for yardage, but he also ended the day averaging less than 3 ypc, a statistic that would have earned Alex Green a ruthless skewering at the hands of fans.

      I love my fellow Packers fans, but we often lose objectivity.

  • Ron LC

    It’s a win and 2-0 in the division. Capers whatever I said about you early on I take back. The D is winning games this year.

    The Oline is a disorganized piece of shit! They went into the season knowing they had no one who sould back up. Dumb move! AR’s got to get his head screwed on right too.

    • Oppy

      last game the oline seemed to improve after bulaga went down and eds stepped in as lang shifted to rt…

      this week the oline is a disorganized p.o.s. with nobody able to fill a void due to injury.

      holy fickle, batman!

      could it possibly be a Lions’ defensive line that features 2 recent first rounders in Fairley and Suh, capped off with VandeBosch and Cliff Avril?

      Do they have to do better? Yes. But the Lions’ DL is one of the better units in the NFL.

  • Pete Kliman

    Good pt about the Lions D line which makes Starks play even more impressive.

    • Michael

      2. ,what?

  • Big T

    I will take an ugly win as long as coach sets his ego aside and learns from it…Still no warm fuzzy feeling for Finley, Crosby needs a kick to the ding ding, Williams got an azz whooping, O-line is comical, and Rodgers is starting to get that Favre look on his face… But a win is a win, I am happy…

  • toolkien

    Certainly wasn’t a dreamy win, but perspective – the Packers have had a LOT of injuries on both sides of the ball and anyone over 40 should remember the days when just Eddie Lee Ivery’s kneecap going flying was the end of your season, and – but for the Witless in Seattle call – the Packers are 23-3 in the regular season last year plus ten.

    To still be able to win with the level of injuries is remarkable. Glass half empty – the Packers are mediocre with these injuries, glass half full – the Packers are STILL only mediocre even with all these injuries! Ted Thompson and his staff do a remarkable job finding talent and depth. It sucks that we have to be aware of that ability because it means the injuries have occurred, but it’s nice to see “the next man up” working out more often than not.