Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions: 2014 Game 16 (Packers 30, Lions 20)
As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it. Everything is up for discussion.
One game for the NFC North Division Title. A Packers win would guarantee them the second seed. If the Rams were to upset the Seahawks (don’t hold your breath), the Packers could even end up with the #1 seed.
Scott Tolzien is active for first time this year – Packers must have legitimate concern about Rodgers’ calf injury.
DuJuan Harris inactive for first time this year. Welcome back to KR’s Randall Cobb or do they go with Micah Hyde?
No other surprises with the inactive list today.
Captains for the rest of this season (as voted on by the players) will be Aaron Rodgers (offense), Jordy Nelson (offense), Julius Peppers (defense), Morgan Burnett (defense), Randall Cobb (offense/ special teams) and Jarrett Bush (special teams).
Inactives for today’s game:
Green Bay Packers
26 RB DuJuan Harris
31 CB Davon House
54 LB Carl Bradford
72 C Garth Gerhart
80 TE Justin Perillo
83 WR Jeff Janis
99 DT Bruce Gaston
17 QB Kellen Moore
24 DB Josh Thomas
74 G Rodney Austin
79 DE Larry Webster
84 WR Ryan Broyles
97 DT Caraun Reid
98 DT Nick Fairley
Importance: Every year you start te journey and your first goal is the Division. We clearly want the opportunity to have the bye week
Familiar opponent: Some of these division games are harder than playoff games, in my experience. It’s a lot more in-depth conversations, thinking and training.
1st Lions game: It wasn’t a very good day for us, offensively and special teams were poor, defense played well for 3 quarters but didn’t finish. I think Detroit’s defense , specifcally the secondary is better. Both teams are better.
Rodgers, 3 QBs: Rodgers is our starting quarterback, no hesitation or qualifications. We’re approaching like we always have. Just taking the high side of caution here.
KR’s with Harris inactive: Micah Hyde & also Randall Cobb will do the kickoff returns.
Lions’ Defensive Front,#1 against the run: Talented anjd have a lot of depth. very detailed in playing their schemeyear or two.2 years.
Lions’ Safeties: Definitely an excellent pair, been a big help for them back there.
Stafford: Matthew has always been extremely productive and can make all the throws. He was in one offense all his career until this year, this has been a big change for him.
Johnson & Tate: Golden Tate has been the biggest improvement to this team. best route runner and ability to get YAC
What did you tell your team: Stay true to our identity. Division opponent, there will be no sparring, come out throwing punches. Big play production is key.
Packers vs. Lions – First Impressions – First Half:
A little change of recent tactics – Packers win the toss and defer.
Matthews with sack and huge hit on Stafford, who had time throw the ball away but let Matthews run 5 yards and tee off on him. Dumb.
Lacy up the middle of the defense killing the Lions early.
Strange switch to Starks for a few plays – have a feeling Lacy was just gassed. He put out a huge amount of effort on those runs.
Packers get another four downs from the one yard line cause of INT. Lions put up a goal line stand as Lacy not in the game until 4th down.
Also, did NOT like the Kuhn handoff on 1st down or the empty backfield on 3rd down.
Micah Hyde with the punt return TD. As Hyde is running it back, I’m yelling “PLEASE DON’T GET TACKLED” so we don’t have to go short yardage goal line offense again.
Whoa – Reggie Bush one on one with Sam Barrington on a go route and Stafford doesn’t throw there.
Score at end of 1st quarter: GB 7 DET 0
No completions for Rodgers in the first quarter.
Packers defense getting good pressure on Stafford without blitzing.
Rodgers working the no-huddle up-tempo game masterfully. Detroit looking gassed.
The rare Lacy fumble (only 2nd of the year) as he refuses to go down and fights for more yards. Occupational hazard.
Detroit RBs bouncing outside finding easy pickings out there…
Ebron not dropping passes is in my opinion the #1 thing he needs to work on. never mind blocking.
Boy, get a bunch of commotion around Matthew Stafford and his accuracy goes way down…
Don’t get #Lions going for it on 4th and 10, but hey, I won’t complain…
Packers 1st and goal at the 9 after a 34 yd completion to Cobb.
Rodgers throws a TD to Cobb as he’s pulling up lame. Stays down for awhile and limps off. Now takes the cart to the locker room. Disaster.
Winning this game even more important now. Need that bye for Rodgers to get healthy. C’mon defense!
DUMB STUPID DUMB STUPID JONES with roughing the passer after a 3rd and 13 stop. Next play, TD Detroit. Way to go Brad.
Score at end of 1st half: GB 14 DET 7
Packers vs. Lions – First Impressions – Second Half:
Matt Flynn out to start the second half. Oh boy…
Flagrant facemask by Reggie Bush on Casey Hayward – not seen.
My only issue with Tramon on the TD pass to Megatron is once he makes his break, you KNOW the throw is going to be to the corner of the end zone. Just head to the spot.
Rodgers walks back onto the field after Detroit kicks off out of bounds.
Limping noticeably, it doesn’t seem to matter. Rodgers drives Packers down the field for a TD.
And on that TD, Thank You Randall Cobb for making it into the end zone and not putting GB in another goal line situation.
I tweet, “Stafford just itching to throw an INT. can feel it coming…” and the next play Casey Hayward has one in his hands but can’t hold on. Almost the perfect prediction…
Score at end of 3rd quarter: GB 21 DET 14
ANOTHER blocked field goal? Really?
Detroit gives the ball right back with a fumble, however.
Packers 1st and goal from the 9.
Red zone plays: 1st down – handoff to Lacy no gain. 2nd down short completion to Rodgers – facemask.
Now 1st and goal from the 4: 1st down – handoff to Lacy, makes it to the 1 foot line. 2nd down – Rodgers keeper – TD!!! wait, under review… Upheld. TD it is!!!
Packers defense hold and another near INT of Stafford. Lambeau’s Law: QB pressure + Stafford = INT ids coming.
Packers running the clock down with a 14 pt lead. Give the ball to Detroit on the 9 yd line with 2:39 left.
Mike Neal forces intentional grounding from the end zone. SAFETY. DAGGER.
Onsides free kick punt after the safety? That’s a first for me.
NFC NORTH CHAMPION #PACKERS
Final Score: GB 30 DET 20
I know competitive juices kick in, but Rodgers should not have been taking off running at all in this game.
For a guy with an Economics degree and a few credits short of another degree in astrophysics, Brad Jones can do some dumb things. None worse than that penalty at the end of the 2nd quarter. Even if you want to argue wimpy NFL rules, you GOTTA know not to hit the QB in the head. Especially when he’s already thrown the ball.
Neither team seemed that interested in kicking field goals in first half.
Red Bozo – Best LOS audible call I’ve heard in a long time.
Randall Cobb has become the one thing teams just don’t have a solution for.
And while we’re talking about Cobb, he is a fantastic downfield blocker for a guy his size. Very overlooked
Twice Eddie Lacy loses ball because he refuses to give up and fighting for every inch. I can live with that. Only 2 fumbles all year.
Feeling like I’d almost rather have Rodgers in a 2nd and 18 than a 3rd and eight. Crazy?
Strangely subdued belt celebration from Rodgers on his QB sneak.
Suh with a subtle double step on Rodgers left leg. At least it wasn’t obvious. His dirt game has gotten so much better.
Lions’ two-point conversion overturned. I was sure the ball was over when he hit the ground.
Can the “Favre was tougher” mob at least admit Rodgers is no slouch?
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.